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.
Some 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.
Further general information on HES data quality is available.
Data on the number of prescription items and Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) for drugs prescribed to help people stop smoking give a measure of how often a prescriber writes a prescription and it is not an ideal measure of the volume of drugs prescribed as different practices may use different durations of supply. The NIC is the basic cost of a drug as listed in the Drug Tariff or price lists; it does not include discounts, prescription charges or fees.
Some prescriptions are recorded against non-CCG cost centres, and include trusts, councils and private companies. This data is included in the national total but will not be allocated to a CCG.
There is no information on drugs supplied direct to patients without prescriptions. Services such as Family Planning Clinics, Out of Hours services, Patient Group Directions, Minor Ailment Schemes can supply direct to patients and do not record these supplies in national datasets.
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.