Short courses


Introduction to Hospital Episode Statistics

  • 8 hours
  • 2 days


Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) is the national hospital admission database for England, which is increasingly being used for research, clinical outcomes monitoring, and public health and service planning. 

This two-day online course will help you understand how HES data are collected and coded, their structure, and how to clean and analyse HES data. A key focus will be on the strengths and weaknesses of HES, how inconsistencies arise, and approaches to deal with these.

The course consists of a mixture of lectures and practical exercises where you'll use Stata software to clean and analyse HES data.

This course is run by the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH).

Who this course is for 

This course is for researchers and data analysts in academia, government and the private sector who are using or planning to use HES for their work.

Course content 

This course covers the following topics:

  • HES data collection and coding
  • HES data structure
  • How to clean and manage HES data
  • How to ensure anonymity and confidentiality
  • How to carry out basic analyses using HES data
  • Sources of variation in HES data
  • How to apply for HES data
  • An introduction to other hospital databases in the UK


You'll need to have the Stata software installed on your computer to be able to follow talks and practice sessions.


You'll receive a certificate of attendance at the end of the course.

Learning outcomes  

By the end of the course you'll:

  • understand how and why HES data are collected
  • be aware of the strength and weaknesses of using HES data for research
  • be able to implement basic cleaning, management and analysis tasks using HES data
  • know how to ensure anonymity and confidentiality when using HES

Cost and concessions 

The fees for this course are:

  • Students: £70
  • Public sector: £170
  • Private sector: £470

Course team

Dr Pia Hardelid

Dr Pia Hardelid

Pia is an Associate Professor in the Population, Policy & Practice Department, UCL GOS Institute of Child Health. Pia’s research focuses on using routinely collected health data (including birth and death certificates, hospital admission records and general practice databases) for child health research.

Dr Linda Wijlaars

Dr Linda Wijlaars

Linda is a Senior Research Associate in the Population, Policy & Practice Department, UCL GOS Institute of Child Health. Linda’s research interests are in life course epidemiology and use of routinely collected health data (general practice databases and hospital admission records) to explore how parental factors (such as mental health) influence child outcomes.

Dr Ania Zylbersztejn

Dr Ania Zylbersztejn

Ania is a Research Fellow in the Population, Policy & Practice Department, UCL GOS Institute of Child Health. Ania’s research focuses on use of administrative health records (e.g. primary and secondary care records, birth and death certificates) to study health outcomes of children and their families.

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:00