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Consultation on the Hospital Episode Statistics Privacy Impact Assessment Report

word icon Hospital Episode Statistics Privacy Impact Assessment Report [3Mb]

What is a privacy impact assessment?

The purpose of privacy impact assessments is to:

  • explain and justify in law how personal data about individuals are used
  • identify and assess privacy risks
  • propose actions to mitigate or avoid those risks.

They aim to provide transparency over the processing of personal data, and citizens should be able to respond to the analysis and proposals contained in a privacy impact assessment.

What is the background to this privacy impact assessment for Hospital Episode Statistics?

Hospital Episode Statistics are records held by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) about patient stays and visits to hospitals in England.

They are used for a variety of purposes, including the commissioning and management of health services, and research.

This privacy impact assessment was commissioned by the HSCIC in 2014 following newspaper reports about the use of these hospital records by third party organisations, and the initiation of an inquiry by the House of Commons Health Select Committee.

The report was developed the same year in conjunction with stakeholders. However, publication was delayed until May 2016 (as explained in the preface to the report).

How to respond?

Responses to the privacy impact assessment are welcomed from both organisations and individuals. Please review the report and respond online by completing a  consultation survey. The final page of the survey allows for free-text comments.

If you are unable to complete the survey, you can send your comments by email to with the subject heading stating "The HES Privacy Impact Assessment Consultation". Alternatively, please send a written response to: The HSCIC Contact Centre, The Health and Social Care Information Centre, 1 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane, Leeds, LS1 6AE.

The consultation will close after 3 months on Friday 26 August 2016.

What happens next?

A revised version of the report, taking account of responses received, will be published within three months of this closing date.

HSCIC also aims to respond individually to comments submitted (where contact details are provided).

The information you provide in your response will only be used for purposes relating to this consultation. It will not be disclosed to any third parties or used for any other purpose without your permission.

HSCIC undertakes to keep your information secure until the time when it is no longer required, at which point it will be destroyed by secure means.

If you have any queries, please email

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