Hospital Episode Statistics (HES)
Data Analysis for England

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HES data section
Click here to access the password-protected HES data page. Passwords are obtained by signing and returning the non-disclosure agreement below.

Non-disclosure agreement
Please print out, sign and return this non-disclosure agreement. We will then send you a password to gain access to the HES data section.

National Cancer Services Analysis Team:
Policy on small numbers arising from analysis of HES data.


As a result of recent discussions with Sheila Dixon from DOH HES team, it has come to the attention of NATCANSAT that publication of data at aggregate level, where the geographical are of aggregation is smaller than Strategic Health Authority is in contravention of the HES small numbers guidance. Until this time, it has been practice in this team to publish data aggregated at lower levels (Cancer Network, Primary Care Trust, Provider Trust of treatment), via Microsoft Excel pivot tables published on the internet.
The advice received from the HES team, is that it would be acceptable to share these data with NHS organisations, provided this formed part of a non-disclosure agreement between NATCANSAT and the trust which was to access the data, and that it may be also acceptable to share data with non-NHS organisations under a similar agreement in circumstances where this was deemed to be appropriate.


Thus the policy agreement reached between NATCANSAT and HES Team is that data will be published openly (via the internet or otherwise) which allows aggregation of data at SHA level and above.
Any output which allows aggregation at lower levels will be shared with other NHS organisations (SHAs/Cancer Networks/PCTs etc.) as part of a clear non-disclosure agreement. This will be effected by a representative of the organisation completing a non-disclosure agreement (copy attached) and returning it to NATCANSAT. NATCANSAT will retain a copy of the agreement. Then the representative will be given a password which will allow them to access a ‘closed’ area of the website which contains the Microsoft Excel pivot tables. If appropriate requests are received from non-NHS organisations (eg: hospices/charities/patient groups) opinion will be sought from the HES team as to how to proceed (once precedents are set this policy may be modified to reflect them.)
The attached form has been modified to represent access to the cancer data held by the team.

Helen Forbes
21st December 2004