Skip Navigation
Search site

This is our old website. Most information can now be found on our new NHS Digital website. Let us know what you think.

Local Authority HES Extract Service

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) Data Extract Service for Local Authority (LA) public health teams

Public Health England (PHE) and the Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) have worked together to develop a new hospital activity data extract service which is now available to support the work of LA public health teams.  


What is the HES Data Extract Service?

The Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) provide a wealth of information on disease incidence, prevalence, treatment and outcomes. HES can be used to: inform the development of health and wellbeing strategies and strategic needs assessments; support the provision of public health advice to NHS commissioners; and enable the benchmarking and comparative analysis of health outcomes for a local population.

The HES Data Extract Service is part of the DARS portfolio and provides Local Authorities with direct access via the HSCIC to inpatient, outpatient and A&E data, updated on a monthly basis, for the whole of England for the last ten years (seven in the case of A&E).

The LA public health teams will be able to access de-identified HES records through this service. The data may only be used to support the statutory public health duties of the local authority, and the public health team will be responsible for ensuring that confidentiality is protected and the conditions on the use of the data are adhered to.

What data is available through the HES Data Extract Service?

Approved Local Authority public health applicants for the HES Data Extract Service will be provided with access to:

  • all inpatient admissions in England for 2004/05 onwards;
  • all outpatient admissions in England for 2004/05 onwards; and
  • all accident and emergency admissions in England for 2007/08 onwards.

Updates for these data sets will be provided on a rolling monthly basis.

Approved users of the service will be able to access record-level pseudonymised data. The extracts provided by the HSCIC will contain full individual HES records but with all identifiable information removed and certain fields replaced with derived data.

Full details of the fields contained in the HES data sets can be found in the HES Data Dictionary at www.hscic.gov.uk/hesdatadictionary

How to apply to access the HES Data Extract Service

All requests to access record-level data from the HSCIC are handled by the Data Access Request Service (DARS) which is explained in detail on the DARS webpage. All applicants wishing to access HSCIC data must have a Data Sharing Framework Contract (DSFC) in place, together with a data sharing agreement for each purpose.

A standard application template has been produced for local authorities wishing to access pseudonymised data through the HES Data Extract Service.

word icon DARS Application for Local Authority HES Extract Service [108kb]

The application process is as follows:

Step 1: Email enquiries@nhsdigital.nhs.uk citing reference 'LAPH HES Extract' and the name of your Local Authority in the email subject field to request a copy of (a) the HES Data Extract Service standard application template, and (b) the standard Data Sharing Framework Contract (if your Local Authority does not already have one in place with the HSCIC). The DSFC form is available on www.hscic.gov.uk/dars

Step 2: Complete the information for your Local Authority as indicated in the standard application template and the DSFC, and return both to the HSCIC.

Step 3: Completed applications will be considered via DARS and, if approved, the contract countersigned by the HSCIC and a data sharing agreement sent to the director of public health to sign and return; this process will take approximately 30 working days (excludes the DSFC process).

Step 4: Once the data sharing agreement has been countersigned by the HSCIC, a user name and password for the Secure Electronic File Transfer (SEFT) service will be sent to the named member of the public health team, who will then be able to access the data.

While the data provided through the HES Data Extract Service is pseudonymised, Local Authority users of the service are responsible for taking appropriate steps to ensure that confidentiality is protected at all times. The data can only be used for the purposes outlined in the data sharing agreement. Any Local Authority using the data in ways that do not conform to the conditions of supply will have its access to the service terminated and may be subject to further penalties.

Further information

Requests for further information on the HES Data Extract Service for Local Authority public health teams can be directed to the HSCIC at enquiries@nhsdigital.nhs.uk citing reference 'LAPH HES Extract' and the name of the local authority in the email subject field.

Close iCM Form