Recommendation 270

Review of patient outcome statistics

There is a need for a review by the Department of Health, the Information Centre and the UK Statistics Authority of the patient outcome statistics, including hospital mortality and other outcome indicators. In particular, there could be benefit from consideration of the extent to which these statistics can be published in a form more readily useable by the public.

The UK Statistics Authority is undertaking an independent review of patient outcome statistics recognised as official statistics.  The review, among other things, is considering how to make such statistics more readily useable by the public.  In undertaking the review the UK Statistics Authority has had discussions with the Health and Social Care Information Centre, NHS England, the Department of Health, the Care Quality Commission and the Office for National Statistics.  The report will be published later in 2013 and we will study its findings closely with a view to help improve presentation of statistics to patients and the public.


The UK Statistics Authority published its review Official Statistics on Patient Outcomes in England  in February 2014. This was accompanied by a letter to the Secretary of State for Health, which invited him to put forward seven sets of patient outcome statistics for independent the UK Statistics Authority assessment. The letter also proposed further recommendations for the statistics producers – namely the Health and Social Care Information Centre, NHS England, and the Care Quality Commission – to improve the usability of their statistics.

The Secretary of State for Health formally requested the proposed assessments, and noted that the statistics producer bodies would consider the other recommendations. Assessments for five of the seven sets of statistics have already begun, including the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator, with the other two scheduled to begin in 2015. This is intended to provide independent assurance that these important statistics comply with best practice. The statistics producers are working together to understand the views of service users and the public on how the publication of these statistics can be made more accessible, clear and at a level of detail that supports their use.