Sources of data

We use data from a large range of sources. Some data comes from nationally available data sets such as Patient Level Information and Costing Systems (PLICS), which trusts already submit to NHS Improvement, NHS England or the Department of Health. We enter into data-sharing agreements with other NHS bodies, like the Getting It Right First Time programme (GIRFT), so that we can re-use data that has already been submitted. Sometimes we collect data directly from trusts.

Some metrics use more than one data source. For example, we combine data from trust’s Electronic Staff Record and annual PLICS returns to calculate many of the staff cost per 'weighted activity unit' (WAU) metrics.

For each individual metric, there is more information about the data source, alongside details of how the metric is calculated and how it should be interpreted. If you click on a metric, you will be taken to a metric page from where you can access data sources and methodology, as well as further information to support the interpretation of the metric.

The most common data sources include:
  • Trust accounts (annual and monthly)
  • Electronic Staff Record (ESR)
  • Hospital Episode Statistics (HES)
  • NHS England Secondary Uses Service (SUS) 

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