Publications - Type - Occasional Papers

Child Deaths in the North East of England, April 2008 to March 2010

Child death review procedures as set out in Chapter 7 of Working Together are now firmly established throughout the North East of England. This report summarises the child deaths in the North East of England for the two years to March 2010. Most child deaths occur in infancy, with perinatal events and congenital anomalies being the dominant causes. The highest proportion of deaths with potentially modifiable factors is in the 15 to 17 year group. All categories of child death are associated with material deprivation.

Hospital admissions for neurological conditions in North East of England

In June 2009, NEPHO produced a health needs assessment for long term neurological conditions (LTNC) in the North East of England on behalf of the North East Neurosciences Network. This paper provides an update on the hospital admissions data that was presented in that report.

The Prevalence of Smoking in the North East

The report describes the sources of data to use for the monitoring and description of smoking prevalence at regional, local authority and small area neighbourhood geographies in the North East. The report also presents and comments on the data from each source to give advice on its use and robustness.

The advised data sources for smoking prevalence are:

  • General Lifestyle Survey (GLF) for national and regional level reporting
  • Integrated Household Survey for local authority and regional level data
  • Synthetic estimates of smoking prevalence for local areas - NOTE THESE DATA ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE. MSOA level statistics from Local Health: and Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) :

Trends in drug use in the North East

This paper describes the trends of problematic drug use as recorded in the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) for patients resident in the North East at their first presentation for specialist drug treatment. Its purpose is to support the commissioners and providers of drug treatment, and provide intelligence to inform all concerned with the harms drug use can cause to both the individual and the community.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in the North East of England

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is linked to smoking, occupational dust and pollution, and is particularly prevalent in the North East of England. This paper reviews prevalence estimates and highlights the fact that over 32,000 people in the North East are living with undiagnosed COPD. COPD costs the NHS an estimated £491million every year and this paper highlights emergency admission rates for COPD. Mortality rates from COPD in the North East are higher than in England (accounting for 6% of all deaths), and the inequality gap appears to be increasing.

Premature mortality from smoking in the North East of England

Smoking kills over 1,700 people every year in the North East before they reach the age of 70, accounting for 29% of premature deaths in the region compared with 26% of all premature deaths in England. Premature mortality from smoking in the North East is higher for men than for women and the highest rates are seen in Middlesbrough and Newcastle. The majority of these smoking-attributable deaths are from cancer, although smoking also accounts for 82% of the premature deaths from COPD and 32% of the premature deaths from cerebrovascular diseases.

Cataract Surgery in the North East of England

Cataract is a common and important cause of visual impairment with no proven preventive or medical treatments. The only effective way to restore or maintain vision is surgical removal of the clouded part of the lens (cataract surgery). Cataract surgery is the most common surgical operation carried out in England and is frequently performed on older people since most cataracts are age-related. The benefits of cataract procedures are immense; loss of vision threatens independence and long periods with impaired vision and impaired quality of life increase the likelihood of deterioration in general health.

In this report we use Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data to compare the performance of hospital trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in the North of England against recommendations in Action on Cataracts and averages for the North East and England.

Occasional Paper 44 - Count-Me-In Census of Inmates of the Prison Service October 2009: Wales

This report covers the censuses of in-patients in mental illness and learning disabilities specialties. This was introduced as one of the building blocks of the last UK government's plan to tackle inequalities in access and outcomes for mental health service users from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups.

Migrant Health in North East England

North East England is the smallest and least culturally and ethnically diverse of the nine English regions. Between 1999 and 2008 it received more than ten thousand asylum seekers, several thousand migrant workers and growing numbers of overseas students. The North East Public Health Observatory (NEPHO) produced reports on migrant health in 2002 and 2008.

Lung resection rates across the North of England Cancer Network

A report to give a summary of resection rates for lung cancer across the North of England Cancer Network. This report analyses the audit data and compares surgery rates with HYCCN and YCN and then the report also looks at performance within the network. The validity and completeness of the audit data is also discussed.

The Mental Health Minimum Data Set 2006/07 and 2007/08

The Mental Health Minimum Dataset (MHMDS) was introduced in April 2003, to collect detailed data on the mental health care received by individuals in England. Since that time, data have become available for secondary analysis in batches. Two years data, covering the NHS years 2006/7 and 2007/8 were made available to the Public Health Observatories in August 2009. An analysis of the substantive findings in these datasets was published by the NHS Information Centre. This paper provides an overview of a number of data quality issues emerging from the datasets. We reported on an overview of the data quality in the returns for 2004/5, here we review the issues in these more recent data.

Monitoring maternal and child health in the North East and North Cumbria

The Regional Maternity Office (RMSO) manages a number of linked surveys relating to pregnancy and child health for the North East and North Cumbria.

Use of mental health services by minority ethnic groups in England

Over the last decade, four new types of mental health care have been introduced in the English NHS. This study examines how far these have been used in the care of minority ethnic groups.

Occasional Paper No. 36 December 2009: Surveillance of infant mortality and its determinants: a feasibility study of the use of maternity unit data


Infant mortality is an important indicator of population health.

Reducing inequalities in infant mortality is a key national target to reduce inequalities in health outcomes. This study explored the potential value of electronic birth records held by maternity units for the surveillance of determinants of infant mortality.

The study population included all live births between 2003 and 2005 in five maternity units in the North of England.

Electronic maternity unit data could provide a valuable data source for monitoring progress towards reducing risk factors for infant mortality.

Obesity Prescribing Trends in the North East - July 2009


  • Obesity is a serious, growing public health problem in the North East.
  • National and regional guidance support the use of pharmaceutical interventions where appropriate.
  • The number of obesity prescriptions has grown over time.
  • Whilst differences exist between weighted prescribing rates across the North East, these are not statistically significant.
  • Orlistat is the most commonly prescribed obesity drug in the North East, and prescribing rates for this drug are the highest in England per head of population.

Progress in Revascularisations in the North East of England

This paper describes the progress made by NHS Trusts providing cardiovascular services and commissioning Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in the North East of England in improving revascularisation since 2003/04.

Specialist Alcohol Treatment in the North East 2008

This paper describes the level of specialist alcohol treatment provision in the North East of England. Its purpose is to support Primary Care Trusts (the commissioners of services) and others in understanding patterns of care and to signal the availability of this information for future use. The data come from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) and is for the first two quarters of 2008/09 and updates an earlier report.¹

Indicators of Public Health in the English Regions: Older People

This Indications of Public Health in the English Regions report on older people aims to describe the health and quality of life of older people living in Britain.

Specialist Alcohol Treatment April to June 2008

Since 1st April 2008 all providers of specialist alcohol treatment (defined in Models of Care for Alcohol Misusers1) have been obliged to submit data to the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) on all patients receiving specialist treatment for their alcohol misuse. The data collection supports the Government’s National Alcohol Strategy and provides information for the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) and for commissioners on the provision of specialist alcohol treatment services at a local level.

Occasional Paper No. 31: Using European Health Data for Commissioning

The concept of World Class Commissioning means that commissioners will have to assess the outcomes of commissioning, not only against England benchmarks, but also those further afield. This report examines comparable data from Europe to gain a better understanding of health.

Occasional Paper No. 30: The Prevalence of Smoking in the North East

This report updates and replaces Occasional Paper 23 as the measures of the smoking prevalence have moved on significantly since its publication, particularly with the advent of the new national Integrated Household Survey. Its purpose is to describe the data sources that SFNE should use as official figures and to provide support for service commissioners and providers in tobacco control.

Occasional Paper No. 26 - A Monitoring Framework for Regional Tobacco Control in the North East

The framework is de-signed to be used as a routine mechanism for monitoring and evaluating the work of SFNE.

Occasional Paper No 25 - Drug Related Deaths (Post Event) 2006

DRDs increased between 2003 and 2004 in the North East against a national falling trend. However, the North East has not been highlighted by np-SAD as having amongst the highest death rates nationally.

Occasional Paper 23: The prevalence of smoking in the North East

This report was commissioned by Smoke Free North East (SFNE) to provide support for service commissioners and providers in tobacco control. It has been replaced by occasional paper 30

Occasional Paper No. 24 - The Mental Health Minimum Data Set: A First Sight of the Data

This occasional paper uses the year end returns for 2004/05 to identify the challenges involved in readying this new data source for full national use and to provide an introduction to the key issues in assessing MHMDS data quality and the challenges involved in improving it.

OP22: Maternal Obesity and Pregnancy Outcome: A Scoping Study

Maternal obesity is becoming a serious problem. This study looks at some of the issues which are an issue when dealing with obesity in pregnant women.

Occasional Paper No 21 - Alcohol and Health in North East England 2006

The consumption of alcohol is a complex public health issue.

Occasional Paper No 19: Northern Diabetes in Pregnancy Survey - Audit of Units against Standards of Care

The North East PHO and the Northern RMSO have published this report of an audit of unit performance against the agreed regional service standards for the care of women with diabetes in pregnancy and their babies.

Occasional Paper No 17 - Total Hip Replacements in the North East

In this paper we aim to use Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) to explore variation in provision and outcome following a total hip replacement in the North East of England.

Occasional Paper 18 - Life Expectancy in Hartlepool

This paper summarises key findings from the North East PHO's analysis of life expectancy in Hartlepool

Occasional Paper No 16 - The Health Needs of Prisoners

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the health needs of prisoners.

Occasional Paper No 11 - Revascularisation Surgery in the North East of England

In this paper, we use HES data, deprivation data and mortality data to assess to what extent hospital trusts and primary care organisations in the North East of England are meeting the targets set out in National Service Frameworks: Coronary Heart Disease

Occasional Paper 12 - Comparison of Health in Moravia Silesia (Moravskoslezsky) in the Czech Republic and the North East Region of England

The North East Assembly signed an agreement with the region of Moravia Silesia to enable the sharing of experiences and facilitate learning. The region in the Czech Republic was identified in a separate piece of work to identify comparable regions with the North East. In November 2004, the PHO was asked to undertake a comparative analysis of the available health data in the two regions.

Occasional Paper 10 - Obesity and overweight in Europe and lessons from France and Finland

The rise of obesity is widely accepted as a major public health problem in the UK. In this paper we aimed to investigate the scale of the problem in the rest of Europe, and whether any lessons can be learned from the study of other countries.

Occasional Paper 09 - Census 2001 - Housing and the North East

This occasional paper describes the households and housing of the North East, focussing on the links between housing and deprivation and housing and health

Occasional Paper 05 - Implementation of the Renal NSF in the North East and Cumbria

This report provides a summary of a study that was set up in 2002 by the North East PHO to examine the implications of implementing the Renal NSF.

Occasional Paper 06 - Pregnancy and Infant Health in the North East & North Cumbria

This occasional paper provides information about the surveys managed by the RMSO and highlights services available to clinicians, Directors of Public Health and researchers.

Occasional Paper 07 - Census 2001 - Health and the North East

This occasional paper provides a summary of health variables from the 2001 Census for Primary Care Organisations (PCOs) in the North East of England.

Occasional Paper 02 - Scoping Study of Mental Health Data: Key Messages

This paper provides a summary of key messages from the scoping study undertaken by the Centre for Public Mental Health, University of Durham for the North East PHO.

Occasional Paper 14 - Using the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) data in the North East 2004

Drug misuse in the UK is now a serious cause of morbidity and mortality. In response to an increase in the prevalence of drug misuse the Government created The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) in 2001 to improve the availability, capacity and effectiveness of treatment for drug misuse in England as part of its National Drug Strategy. In April 2001 responsibility for NDTMS moved from the Department of Health to the NTA. In the North East region, the most significant recent change was the development of the North East regional NDTMS team in April 2004, under the management of the North East PHO.