NHS Digital publishes information on ethnicity recording in the NHS to aid planning and research for COVID-19

The Ethnic Category Coverage Management Information, published today by NHS Digital, uses data from the GPES1 Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (GDPPR)2 and Hospital Episodes Statistics3 (HES) data sets to show the recorded ethnicity of patients4, broken down by Clinical Commissioning Group.

This information aims to inform users of the quality, coverage, and distribution of ethnic category recording within NHS Digital datasets. It can be used to reduce health inequalities5 and to allow commissioners of health and care services to better understand and monitor levels of ethnicity recording, so interventions can be targeted where they are needed.

It can also be used for research projects looking into COVID-19. The use of the underlying data is limited to COVID-19 planning and research purposes due to the legal basis under which the dataset is collected6.

It is possible for patients to be registered at multiple GP practices therefore some patients may be counted more than once but at different practices.

This information can be used:

The methodology used is one of many possible methods of obtaining ethnic category from these datasets, and the methodology used in future publications may differ following further analysis and investigation

This information should not be used without an understanding of how ethnicity is recorded in clinical systems and the opportunity for bias to be introduced during recording9.

The data will be updated in December with further updated scheduled based on usage.

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