Injury Causation Database

Update April 2013

As a result of a report commissioned by RoSPA 1 (in collaboration with the Electric Safety Council and Intertek) the Department of Health is funding the Knowledge & Intelligence Team, South West (KITSW, formerly known as the South West Public Health Observatory or SWPHO) to collect, analyse and evaluate enhanced injury-related data in hospital Emergency (A&E) Departments.

As part of this pilot project, patients are being interviewed by trained staff to provide data on the underlying cause and context of their injuries. This data is then being analysed to provide information which in turn can be used by organisations such as RoSPA to plan injury prevention programmes.

The scheme employs the College of Emergency Medicine's "Minimum Dataset", which uses a combination of clearly defined categories such as location or type of sport and free text to allow for more complicated descriptions.

Enhanced injury data is now being collected on a routine basis in two NHS Trusts. The John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, and Horton General Hospital, Banbury, started screening all A&E attendances for injury data in December 2011, while St Mary's Hospital, London Paddington, started screening all paediatric (under age 16) A&E attendances for injury data in June 2011.

KITSW has been assessing the latest data quality and says the results are promising. KITSW is now in the process of compiling further example analyses to demonstrate the potential value of the data collection and is consulting RoSPA ahead of pulling together the results of the pilot in a report. KITSW and the College are also exploring options for extending the collection in other Trusts.

For more information regarding injury causation data, feel free to contact RoSPA's Information Centre. All media enquiries should be directed to the Press Office.


  1. feasibility-study-final-report.pdf

Update May 2010

Logos of the Electrical Safety Council, RoSPA and Intertek.

During 2008, RoSPA, ESC and Intertek commissioned research into the feasibility of replacing the Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance Systems (HASS/LASS). The outcome from this research is freely available here: Project Update June 2008 (PDF 67kb)

This report was presented to the then Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson. A key recommendation was to carry out detailed research into the practicalities and value of various data collection methods in busy Emergency Departments (otherwise known as Accident & Emergency or 'A&E' departments).

As a result of this presentation, we were delighted that the Department for Health commissioned the South West Public Health Observatory (SWPHO) to carry out this next phase of research.

The SWPHO team is using established best practise in the form of the European Union Injury Database (EUIDB) and Professor Ronan Lyons' All Wales Injury Surveillance System (AWISS) to create systems that will allow Emergency Department receptionists to collect injury causation data when patients arrive at the hospital.

A representative sample of these patients will then be interviewed by qualified staff, to collect more detail regarding the precise circumstances of the injury – where did it happen, what was the person doing at the time, what object(s) was/were involved, what other people etc.

In addition, SWPHO will be able to evaluate the use of touch-screen systems that allow patients to fill in their own record on a "DIY" basis.

Considerable emphasis will be placed on ensuring patient confidentiality throughout this data collection project.

3 hospital Emergency Departments are involved: John Radcliffe, (Oxford), St Mary's (London) and the RD&E (Exeter). These Emergency Departments are led by medical consultants who are members of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. They and their teams are keen to use the causation data for research purposes, to work with the local media, to publish articles in medical journals and most importantly, because they would like to help prevent accidental injuries while still continuing to deal with the consequences of accidents.

Although originally scheduled to present its findings in April 2010, this more detailed phase of the project should now be presenting its findings in December 2010. The delay has been due to a combination of last autumn's outbreak of 'Swine Flu' and a shortage of IT resources within the pilot hospitals.

Fortunately, the IT development that is being carried out for the pilots could be readily scaled up for adoption by many more hospitals. The pilots are modifying their 'Symphony' computer software in order to include the new injury causation data fields. Approximately half of English Primary Care Trusts use the same computer software and this would make it much easier to go ahead with a national roll-out. Similarly, the new touch-screen technology could also be replicated and deployed in many Emergency Departments.

In the meantime, the sponsors of the original research (RoSPA, ESC and Intertek) are keeping in touch with a diverse range of stakeholders ranging from politicians and insurers to healthcare providers and accident prevention practitioners.

A key challenge for all stakeholders will be to evaluate the value of the new injury causation data against the known costs of data collection.

Contact Us

Public Health
+44 (0)121 248 2107
Contact form