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Publication, Part of

Outpatient Data Quality Report

Official statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Date Range:
01 Apr 2003 to 31 Mar 2005


  • This report supplements and further informs users of "Reporting outpatient journeys: Hospital outpatient activity in 2003-04 and 2004-05" which was issued in July 2006.
  • It contains key messages for providers of NHS outpatient data and analysts using this important national dataset.
  • Increased use of outpatient data and proposals to extend their scope mean that the report contains important lessons for the future.
  • The dataset is fit for a range of purposes but gaps in provision of data from a number of providers; data missing, poorly completed and duplicated, and other deficiencies described in the report, means that it is vital to use it with care.
  • Missing organisations were mainly PCTs and mental health providers who are urged to investigate their failure to provide data.
  • Ambiguities in national guidance, or historical anomalies in what the service is mandated to report, also limit the value of the dataset but some of these are already being addressed by dataset development.
  • Individual providers are already demonstrating the ability to supply data items essential for business support but not yet mandated.
  • 'Guidance to Users' is provided at data item level and is intended to enable best use of the data.
  • Areas of additional work required to aid understanding and use of the data and improve data quality are proposed.
  • Following further examination and wider sharing of the data it has been decided that the 'experimental' status of these two data years should be retained but the expectation is that this tag will be lifted on more recent data which is already in operational use.

There are associated tables on the HESonline website.


Last edited: 1 July 2019 2:40 pm