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HES Data Usage

Projects completed with the NHS Digital Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data

The Oxford AHSN receive quarterly extracts of HES data from NHS Digital, which includes data submitted by the provider trusts within the region. The arrangement follows an application process to and review by the Data Access Advisory Group (DAAG) at NHS Digital. The storage and use of the data adheres to the Data Sharing Agreement set out by NHS Digital. The data receives has been de-identified; diagnosis, procedures and outcomes can be understood to help understand patient care, however individuals patients cannot be identified.

The HES data received covers impatient, outpatient, critical care and emergency activity and has been used by the Informatics team to support the Oxford AHSN’s core programmes.

Paediatric Admissions

The Children’s network has been provided with a report drawn from the inpatient dataset. This has facilitated the network to produce a report documenting the variation of hospital admissions for varying ages of children who have presented due to a set of common paediatric disease areas.

Respiratory Admissions

The respiratory network has been provided with a report drawn from the inpatient dataset. The output enabled the network to understand the regional variation in admission to hospital and outcomes for patients admitted with Asthma and Coronary Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).


Introducing innovations to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of clinical practice is core to the work of the Oxford AHSN. Before new technologies are piloted in hospitals benefits to the organisation and patients must be highlighted. A report outlining the number of patients receiving angiograms and the percentage that went on to need some form of intervention was developed. This was to assess the feasibility of a new point of care test to be used for emergency presentations to identify patients who need an angiogram performed, to reduce the number of angiograms performed unnecessarily.

Inpatient admissions due to Fractures or Paediatric alcohol admissions 

Informatics support programmes to understand the regional burden of particular presenting complaints or disease areas to assess the potential impact of projects through data. To this end, recent reports have used the inpatient dataset to look at non-elective presentations and certain procedures performed.

  • Inpatient stays following presentation to an emergency department for under 18’s, with the primary diagnosis being related to alcohol.
  • Inpatients stays due to a primary diagnosis of fracture for all patients over 50 broken down by anatomic region.
  • Prostate surgical procedures – a report highlighting how many prostate operations were undertaken, broken down by specific procedure codes.


The timely identification and treatment of sepsis is a national safety priority. Understanding inpatients at risk of serious infection is an important factor in the early detection of sepsis. Following extensive clinical research, a number of diagnosis have been compiled to designate a population of patients who should be approached with ‘suspicion of sepsis.’ The diagnosis and the corresponding ICD10 codes have been used to highlight demographics and track outcomes of patients who fit the suspicion of sepsis criteria.

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