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Statement on use of Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data

February 24, 2014

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is today issuing a statement to clarify the uses to which data we release can be put.

We can confirm that extracted Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data can only be used:
- by health organisations to improve their ability to carry out their role; or
- to improve the quality of healthcare management or service delivery in England

It has been widely-reported today that the predecessor body to the HSCIC supplied data to an actuarial society. The data provided was to a not-for-profit organisation for non-commercial research. It was not used to analyse individual insurance premiums, but to analyse general variances in critical illness. This was about prevalence of certain conditions among certain age groups to ensure premiums were fair - it was not used to calculate individual premiums. The resulting report was publically available, non-identifiable and in aggregate form.

Prior to 1st April 2013, it was not the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) that processed HES information, but a predecessor body. The HSCIC was established with different functions and under and subject to different legal provisions. Additional criteria are currently applied so that the use of data requested needs to be for benefit to health and social care system.

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