This publication provides both up-to-date statistics and a guide to finding and using health statistics from the UK and, to some extent, other OECD countries. Data are presented in easy-to-read tables and figures.

The OHE Guide helps answer these important questions:

  • What statistics do governmental and non‐governmental entities produce?
  • What topics do they cover?
  • How/where can such data be found?
  • How can the data best be used and what help or advice about use is available?

The publication consists of four sections, a glossary and references.

  • Section 1: Population statistics provide a description of demographic issues; population estimates and projections; mortality statistics and summary measures, including life expectancy and standardisation techniques; and the collection and use of morbidity and lifestyle statistics.
  • Section 2: Health care expenditure statistics describe total public and private expenditure on health care in the UK, the structure and financing of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and the costs of various activities.
  • Section 3: Hospital activity and workforce statistics provide a detailed account of NHS data collection, concentrating mainly on hospital activities, waiting times and the workforce.
  • Section 4: Family health services statistics include details about NHS Family Health Services for primary care, encompassing general medical, pharmaceutical, dental and ophthalmic services.

Although the OHE Guide is not a critique of health statistics, it does highlight some crucial issues of reliability and appropriate use. Each section of the publication contains key facts and figures, discussion of data issues and points of interest, selected methods, and core data sources. Business