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NHS: Consultants

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many finished consultant episodes were completed in each of the last five years. (168351)

The following table shows the number of finished consultant episodes (FCEs) completed in national health services hospitals in England from 2001-02 to 2005-06 inclusive.

Data yearFCEs2005-0614,425,2592004-0513,707,4282003-0413,296,5662002-0312,713,2962001-0212,338,590 Notes:FCEAn FCE is defined as a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Figures do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the year.Ungrossed DataFigures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).Assessing growth through timeHES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. During the years that these records have been collected there have been ongoing improvements in quality and coverage. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example, a number of procedures may now be undertaken in out-patient settings and may no longer be accounted in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.Data QualityHES are compiled from data sent by over 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts in England. The Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. Whilst this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The Information Centre for health and social care.