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Hospital Episode Statistics

About the research

Full project title: Linkage to Health data – Hospital Episode Statistics

Hospital corridorThis research project focused on the value gained by linking study data to health data from the NHS. It explored the types of consent used in Understanding Society and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), with a focus on linkage between study data and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). HES is a database containing details of all admissions, A&E attendances and outpatient appointments at NHS hospitals in England.

Researchers can now benefit from a CLOSER resource report to help them link longitudinal data to HES. The project team published a paper in November 2014 in the BMC Medical Research Methodology journal outlining their findings around participant consent to linkage in Understanding Society.

Professor Andy Boyd

Research lead

Andy Boyd (ALSPAC, University of Bristol)

Studies used

Research outputs

CLOSER resource reports


  • Knies G, Burton J. Analysis of four studies in a comparative framework reveals: health linkage consent rates on British cohort studies higher that on UK household panel surveys. BMC Medical Research Methodology. 2014;14(125)
  • Johnson L, Cornish R, Boyd A, Macleod J. Socio-demographic patterns in hospital episode admissions and accident and emergency attendances among young cohort using linkage to NHS Hospital Episode Statistics: Results from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. BMC Health Services Research.  2019;19(134)

Read about other CLOSER data linkage projects.