HealthDataNavigator Understand strengths and weaknesses of existing data bases and projects

United Kingdom

Population (2011): 61,761,000
GDP per capita, US$ PPP at current prices(2010): 35,755
Health Expenditure per Capita, US$ PPP (2010): 3,433
Life expectancy at birth, years (2010): 80.6

Health services in the United Kingdom are largely free at the point of use to all residents through the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS was established in 1948 and is the main health care system available in all four countries (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). While the NHS has been mostly similar in the different countries since its creation the devolution government in 2000 allowed health policies to differ more substantially. More generally, the NHS has undergone substantial period of reforms, most recently in 1991 and 200.

Health System Data in the UK

Recently the Health Economic Research Centre, based in the University of Oxford identified and organized all data sets in England. The Compendium of Health Datasets for Economists (ICOHDE) provides a comprehensive collection of health and health care datasets.

The datasets cover health and helath care policy relevant areas such as:

  • Primary care activity and expenditure
  • Hospital activity and expenditure
  • Social care
  • Performance measurement
  • Health care labour force
  • Health care commissioning
  • Pharmaceutical prescribing
  • Expenditure on equipment and technology
  • Incomes and earnings
  • Complaints and litigation
  • Healthcare related prices and inflation indices.

Datasets are thematically organized and can be searched by economic, socio-economic, demographic and risk behaviour categorization, disease area, area of health system, whether the data is national or regional, unit of analysis, data types and access condition. It can also be searched according to date of fieldwork.

 

Health Status

Aggregate Data

  • The NHS Information Centre provides data on mortality rates aggregated by hospital.
  • Vital Statistics has demographic data on age-standardized mortality rates, births, age-specific fertility rates and life expectancy.
  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) contains demographic data on mortality rates, life-expectancy, healthy life expectancy, causes of death, disability and self-reported health, conditions and diseases.
  • Health Statistics Quarterly has information available on trends in health, and details the latest quarterly information on deaths, childhood mortality, cancer survival, abortions, congenital anomalies and morbidity.
  • The Governments Actuary Department (GAD) provides information on National population projections, national life expectancy data, marital status projections; principal & variant projections by age and sex.

Individual Level Data

  • The NHS Information Centre provides information for Patient Reported Outcome Measures from different pre and post-operative surveys.
  • CancerStats has individual level data on cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence by type. Information is available for all cancer diagnosed patients in the UK. pfeil zu
  • The British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) collects individual level information on diverse aspects. In particular a couple of questions relate to health status and to caring. It can be analysed from the aggregate or individual perspective. pfeil zu
  • The Health Education Monitoring Survey (HEMS) has several questions on general health and cancer.
  • The General Household Survey (GHS) contains information on general health of the respondents.
  • The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) is a longitudinal survey of ageing and quality of life among older people that contains information on health, disabilities, healthy life expectancy and physical and cognitive health. pfeil zu

Quality (valued outcomes)

Aggregate Data

  • The Performance database of the Department of Health can provide aggregate information concerning waiting time statistics for: inpatient, outpatient, cancer waiting times and referral waiting times. Data is available at the aggregate level by PCT, SHA or NHS trusts. pfeil zu
  • The Care Quality Commission provides inpatient satisfaction measures for admission to hospital, hospital and ward, doctors, nurses, care and treatment, operations and procedures, leaving hospital and overall view of stay in hospital.
  • The Economic and Social Data Service collects survey data on patients’ experience in PCTs and in outpatient and accident and emergency departments in Acute Trusts. It also has survey data available on NHS staff views about working in their local NHS trust. Information is also available at the individual level.
  • The NHS Information Centre collects and publishes yearly information on the Quality and Outcomes Framework. Additionally information is available also on general practice (including dental) complaints.
  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has aggregate information on access and waiting times for health care.
  • The Quality of Outcomes Framework (QOF) database has very simple aggregate information of different quality indicators scores by practice. Very simple but allows evaluating practices. pfeil zu

Individual Level Data:

  • CancerStats has individual information on cancer incidence and survival rates. Information is available at a national level and since 2002. The sample is all cancer diagnosed patients in the UK. pfeil zu

 Efficiency/Econcomy

Physical Inputs

Aggregate Data

Individual Level Data

  • HES database contains details of all admissions to NHS hospitals in England. It contains aggregate and individual information on inpatient admissions, outpatient appointments, clinical information about diagnoses and operations with information about the patient such as time waited and date of admission, geographical information on where the patient was treated and the area in which they lived. pfeil zu

Activity/Utilization

Aggregate Data

  • The Performance database of the Department of Health provides information on hospital activity. Detailed information can be found for A&E admissions, Acute and Non acute delayed transfers of care, Bed utilisation, cancelled operations, diagnostics, referrals among others. pfeil zu
  • The NHS Information Centre has data available on screening rates, prescriptions, GP consultations, dentistry activities, access to mental health services, hospital care activity such as births, admitted patient data and outpatient data. Additional information is available on statistics that cover the volume of ambulance activity.
  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has general information on inpatient and outpatient health care utilization. Additionally information is available on general practice services, dentistry services, maternity services and pharmacy services

Individual Level Data

  • HES database contains details of all admissions to NHS hospitals in England. It contains aggregate and individual information on inpatient admissions, outpatient appointments, clinical information about diagnoses and operations with information about the patient such as time waited and date of admission, geographical information on where the patient was treated and the area in which they lived. pfeil zu

Cost and Expenditure

Aggregate Data

  • Data concerning number of staff, staff earnings, staff turnover and vacancies are available at the NHS Information Centre.
  • The PSSRU holds data on unit costs of health and social care. Based on administrative data and considers all NHS costs.
  • PESA collects outturn data, estimated outturn for the latest year and budgetary plans over the whole range of UK public expenditure.
  • The Department of Health provides data on recurrent and non-recurrent NHS PCT allocations. This is administrative data available for all PCTs in England.

Individual Level Data

Access/Equity

Aggregate Data

  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) contains aggregate information on social indicators from a regional perspective to understand the distribution of health status.
  • Health Statistics Quarterly contains general information on socio-economic and demographic characteristics that allows for the evaluation of the distribution of health status as well as utilization.

Individual Level Data

  • The Health Survey for England contains information on the socio-economic background (education, occupation and income). This allows evaluating the distribution of health status. pfeil zu
  • The British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) has comprehensive information on the socio-economic background and income of the individuals. Information about their households is also available. pfeil zu
  • The Health Education Monitoring Survey (HEMS) provides information on the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the respondents. It allows evaluating distribution of health status and cancer incidence.
  • The General Household Survey (GHS) has information available on the socio-economic background as well as income and demographic characteristics that may be linked to health.
  • The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) has relevant questions concerning economic position, as well as other socio-economic characteristics. pfeil zu

Non-health care determinants

Aggregate data

  • The NHS Information Centre has aggregate and individual level data on aspects such as alcohol, contraception, diabetes, diet, drug misuse, immunisation, smoking, obesity and physical activity.
  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) provides information on general information concerning alcohol related deaths and several other lifestyle features such as smoking, obesity and activities.
  • Health Statistics Quarterly has information on aggregate risk behaviours such as smoking, alcohol and drugs.

Individual Level Data

Health System Design and Context

  • Health Policy in Britain 6th Edition. Ham, C.; Palgrave MacMillan, 2009
  • Health care systems in Transition: UK. Boyle (S). European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, 2011 (Vol. 13, Num. 1)
  • Health care systems in Transition: UK. European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, 1999.