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Aortic Aneurysm

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many patients were treated for abdominal aortic aneurysms through (a) endovascular aneurysm repair using a stent graph and (b) open surgical repair in the NHS (i) in England and Wales and (ii) broken down by strategic health authority in each of the last five years; (188518)

(2) how many patients were treated for thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections through (a) endovascular aneurysm repair using a stent graph and (b) open surgical repair in the NHS (i) in England and Wales and (ii) broken down by strategic health authority in each of the last five years.

This information is not available in the format requested. Using clinical codes, it is not possible to identify endovascular aortic aneurysm repair using a stent graft. Furthermore, in order to adhere to patient confidentiality, incidences of treatment between one and five are suppressed, which is why to break these results down by strategic health authority (SHA) would be infeasible. Data on patients in Wales is not held centrally.

The following table shows the count of finished consultant episodes (FCEs) with a primary diagnosis of aortic aneurysm, broken down by abdominal and thoracic, and a main or secondary procedure of open surgical repair of aortic aneurysm from 2002-03 to 2006-07, which are the latest figures available, in national health service hospitals in England.

Thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Aortic aneurysm that crosses both the thoracic and abdominal areas

2006-07

408

4,516

65

2005-06

375

5,017

77

2004-05

375

4,858

65

2003-04

306

4,871

62

2002-03

300

4,718

68

Notes:

1. FCE:

A FCE is defined as a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. The figures do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the year.

2. Data quality:

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by over 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) 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. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.

3. Assessing growth through time:

HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. During the years that these records have been collected by the NHS, 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 outpatient settings and may no longer be accounted in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.

4. Diagnosis (primary diagnosis):

The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 14 (seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the HES data set and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital.

5. Ungrossed data:

Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).

6. Main operation:

The main operation is the first recorded operation in the HES data set and is usually the most resource intensive procedure performed during the episode. It is appropriate to use main operation when looking at admission details, e.g. time waited, but the figures for ‘all operations count of episodes’ give a more complete count of episodes with an operation.

7. Secondary procedure:

As well as the main operative procedure, there are up to 11 (three prior to 2002-03) secondary operation fields in HES that show secondary or additional procedures performed on the patient during the episode of care.

Source:

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The Information Centre for Health and Social Care.