In using and releasing health statistics there is a risk of identifying individuals when small numbers of events are presented. To address this, the Department of Health asked the National Statistician to produce guidelines for interpreting the National Statistics Code of Practice and associated protocols in handling health statistics, in a way that balances data confidentiality risks with the public interest in the figures.
This review had 2 stages, based around:
developing guidance for published tables of abortion statistics
producing general guidance on disclosure issues around published tables of health statistics
The review was drafted with help from the Department of Health, Health and Social Care Information Centre, professionals from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland and users of health statistics.
There was a public consultation and a quality assurance review of this final guidance, which has received ministerial approval. It should be used for all health statistics published for England.
Download the main guidance and associated technical working papers from this page. For the final guidance please see the public consultation and a quality assurance review.
- Confidentiality Guidance (2.5 MB pdf)
- Working Paper 1: Legal and Policy (466.3 kB pdf)
- Working Paper 2: Risk Assessment (185.7 kB pdf)
- Working Paper 3: Risk Management (503.7 kB pdf)
- Working Paper 4: Glossary (131.3 kB pdf)
- Working Paper 5: References (209.6 kB pdf)
- Procedures for the release of cancer microdata - 2010 (303.4 kB pdf)