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Aligning statistics to the modern health landscape

The presentation of statistics by the Health and Social Care Information Centre changed to reflect the new operating structures across the NHS, established by the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Andy Sutherland, the then Head of Profession for Statistics, said: "We have produced a set of principles that we will apply to future statistical publications, unless there is a good and defensible reason to do otherwise.

"I am sure we will need to adapt in the light of new experiences but it's important to apply some standard approaches to ensure that our statistics are presented clearly, consistently and accurately."

The principles are:

  1. Present on an 'old organisation' basis for statistics which relate to the position up to and including 2012-13.
  2. Present on a 'new organisation' basis for statistics which relate to the position from 2013-14 onwards.
  3. An 'overlap year' will be presented to allow trends at local level to be determined. This will, for preference, be by additionally presenting figures for 2012-13 on a 'new organisation' basis.
  4. Where this is not possible, the following may be presented instead, in order of preference:
    • Additionally present 2013-14 on an 'old organisation' basis
    • Additionally present 2012-13 on a 2013-14 subnational geography or comparative aggregated organisational basis to allow trends to be determined
  5. In all cases, England figures will be presented or estimated on a comparable basis across the change period, either on an on-going basis or by providing at least one 'overlap year'.

Any deviation from these principles will be explained (as part of the publication).

Further useful notes

  • Clinical Commissioning Group population figures, based on residence, are produced by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).The HSCIC uses regional geographies most relevant to the statistics at hand. These are 'Regions' (9) (formerly 'Government Office Regions') which would be likely to be relevant to population, public health and survey based statistics; NHS England Regions (4) and Local Area Team areas (27) which will be relevant to NHS statistics, and Local Education and Training Board Areas (13) which will be relevant to some workforce statistics.
  • Where there is unavoidable disruption to data supply, HSCIC will comply as best possible to the principles above, ensure that it provides or estimates comparable figures at an England level, and describes any estimation methodology, incompleteness or shortcomings in quality.
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