In using and releasing health statistics there is a risk, generally with small numbers, of identifying individuals.
To address this, the Department of Health asked the National Statistician to provide it with guidelines for interpreting the National Statistics Code of Practice and associated protocols in the handling of health statistics across the health community, in a way that balances data confidentiality risks with the public interest in the use of the figures.
The reporting for this Review was a two-stage process.
The first part of the Review focused on developing guidance for published tables of abortion statistics.
The second part produced more general guidance on disclosure issues around published tables of health statistics.
It was drafted with the help of representatives from the Department of Health, Information Centre for Health and Social Care, professionals from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland and representatives of the users of health statistics.
There has been a public consultation and a quality assurance review of this final guidance.
For the final guidance please see the public consultation and a quality assurance review.
The guidance received ministerial approval and should be used for all health statistics published for England.
The main guidance and associated technical working papers are available to download here.