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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. 1 University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2 Department of Paediatric Surgery, Alder Hey Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK
  3. 3 Department 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}

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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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  • Contributors PAG was involved in study design, data collection, statistical analysis and wrote the initial manuscript. DJW and SEK were involved in study design, assisted in interpretation of the data and reviewed/edited the manuscript.

  • Funding This project was supported by a grant from the Alder Hey Charity. Charity number 1049275.

  • Competing interests None declared

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.