Information about the method used to prevent disclosure of personal information in the publication of health statistics.

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 two 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.