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Letter
Gaps in neonatal demographics may impact on HES data: a plea for early allocation and communication of patient identifiers
  1. P A Green1,2,
  2. D J Wilkinson1,3,
  3. S E Kenny1,2
  1. 1University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatric Surgery, Alder Hey Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK
  3. 3Department of Paediatric Surgery, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Patrick Green, Department of Paediatric Surgery, Alder Hey Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Eaton Road, Liverpool L12 2AP, UK; patrickgreen{at}doctors.org.uk

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Many congenital conditions are rare and as such much of the literature is restricted to small case series. There has recently been an increase in the number of national cohort studies performed both prospectively necessitating large collaborations, and retrospectively using national databases such as the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) database.

Such databases have great strengths and while historically studies based on HES data have been controversial due to concerns over coding accuracy; coding accuracy is improving and has been shown to be sufficient for clinical …

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