Hospital episode statistics

This notice provides details of how Plymouth City Council collects and uses information about pseudonymised hospital activity.

What is this information?

Information about hospital activity is supplied to local authorities by NHS Digital and contains data collected when someone is admitted to a hospital bed, attends as an outpatient, or attends an accident and emergency department. Plymouth City Council has a Data Access Agreement with NHS Digital and data are supplied in accordance with section 261 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, and Regulation 3 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002.

Data supplied by NHS Digital is pseudonymised, a procedure by which the identifiable fields  within a data record are replaced by one or more artificial identifiers, or pseudonyms. There can be a single pseudonym for a collection of replaced fields or a pseudonym per replaced field. Information held includes age, method of admission, source of admission, diagnosis codes, procedure and investigation codes, area of residence, hospital attended, date of attendance, and GP practice of patient. More information on this dataset is available on the Digital NHS website.

Who uses this information?

The Public Health Team (Office of the Director of Public Health directorate) in Plymouth City Council.

Why do we use this information?

This information is used to ensure that health, social care and public health services address local health needs and are focused on reducing health inequalities (differences in levels of ill health and premature deaths between groups and areas).

What do we do with this information?

The data is used to produce a range of statistical analyses for public health purposes which help the following:

  • Planning and commissioning (buying) of health services.
  • Providing public health advice to support to local NHS commissioners.
  • Monitoring trends in the incidence and prevalence of disease and risks to public health.
  • Informing demand for, and access to, health care services.
  • Investigating variations in health outcomes between groups.  
  • Integrating local health and care services.
  • Exploring associations between causal risk factors and health outcomes.

Analyses produced are used within the Annual Public Health Report, the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (which in turn informs the Health and Wellbeing Strategy), health needs assessments and the local disaggregation of national performance measures.

No personal-identifiable information is published. Numbers and rates in published reports are aggregated to a level that protects confidentiality and anonymity.

Who do we share this information with?

This information will not be shared with anyone.

How do we keep this information safe?

This information is held in a database on Plymouth City Council’s secure internal network. The data is only accessible to analytical staff within Plymouth City Council’s Public Health Team.