This dimension covers the degree to which the statistical product meets user needs in both coverage and content.
This report is a National Statistic and is produced according to the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
Most of the information in this report has been previously published. The sources of the information are trusted sources; the majority being either National or Official Statistics. Most sources referenced in this report include a Methodology section for further information.
Hospital admissions data
The data presented in this report are for inpatients only and therefore does not reflect all hospital activity. This should be considered when interpreting the data as recording and clinical practice may vary over time and between regions.
Further general information on HES data processing and data quality, including specific known issues can be found here:
The processing cycle and HES data quality
COVID-19 and the production of statistics: Due to the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) disruption, it would seem that there is some effect on the quality and coverage of some of our statistics in relation to the 2020/21 period. It is known that many hospitals are reporting zero or significantly less activity across one or more datasets for March 2020 onwards. The HES data in this publication relates to 2019/20, therefore, the end of the reporting period for this publication includes some of the pandemic period but this is estimated to have a negligible impact on the data.
The number of prescriptions is not the same as the volume of drugs prescribed. Each single item prescribed is counted as a prescription item and volume is not available within the prescribing data. There will be different practices locally on the duration of supply for a prescription.
The NIC is the basic cost of a drug as listed in the Drug Tariff or price lists; it does not include discounts, dispensing costs, prescription charges or fees.
Some of the information signposted to in the report is taken from survey data. Sometimes the mode of data collection used in a survey can have an impact on how respondents answer the questionnaire. For example, surveys conducted via a face-to-face interview such as the Health Survey for England (HSE) provide an opportunity for an interviewer to use a computer to record the respondent’s answers which will improve the quality of the data by ensuring all the questions are completed and not allowing any invalid answers. By comparison data collected on paper forms such as the Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use amongst Young People (SDD) survey will have none of these inbuilt validations.
Face-to-face interviews also provide an opportunity to guide the respondent through any interpretation issues, which is more difficult in a non-face-to-face interview.
Both modes however may suffer from respondents being tempted to give answers which are considered to be more socially acceptable. This could occur either through the surveys being completed in the home when other family members are present, or through the interviewer being present at a face-to-face interview. This effect is reduced in surveys such as SDD which is conducted in schools in exam conditions.