Infant mortality outputs review

Closed 20 Jul 2017

Opened 20 Apr 2017

Feedback Updated 23 Oct 2017

We Asked

ONS publishes annual infant mortality statistics for England and Wales in a number of separate statistical publications. The timing of these outputs varies depending on when the relevant dataset is extracted from our system, and is also affected by the availability of final data from Scotland and Northern Ireland to compile UK data.

Due to the timings of the data extracts and the linkage that is carried out, there are different infant and child mortality figures across publications which can be confusing for users; these were outlined in the consultation document.

To ensure the publication of more timely and fit for purpose final figures, ONS is proposing to change the data extracts used in the creation of infant mortality publications; this will streamline the outputs. ONS will also change some of the tables published to ensure users have the most suitable tabulations available to them.

You Said

There were a total of 45 responses received from a variety of organisations who monitor, formulate or influence policy and plan services. We also received responses from academics, media outlets, charities and private individuals.

The key points to note from the responses to the consultation are:

  • Users prefer figures based on deaths that have occurred in a calendar year rather than figures based on deaths registered in a calendar year but both are still required
  • Users prefer figures based on a birth cohort rather than a death cohort, but both are still required
  • Users require a range of the tables for various purposes utilising both numbers and the rates. Some tables are used more than others
  • Users have specified what other characteristics they require in the tables
  • Users would like to see more data at local authority level and would like figures at country level including UK
  • There was a larger proportion of users who do not use the ONS hierarchical cause groups
  • Users would prefer a single underlying cause of death for perinatal deaths 

We Did

As a result of this consultation, we will take the following actions:

  • ONS will continue to produce figures based on both the year the death was registered and the year the death occurred
  • ONS will streamline the extracts used in the creation of publications. This means we will produce statistics using:

- a death cohort based on registrations in a calendar year (unlinked)

- a death cohort based on occurrences in a calendar year (unlinked)

- a death cohort based on occurrences in a calendar year (linked to birth registrations)

- a birth cohort based on occurrences in a calendar year (birth registration linked to birth notification and death registration)

  • ONS will adapt the tables that are produced from these extracts to incorporate user feedback where possible and these can be found in the consultation response document
  • ONS will produce one set of tables for the birth cohort: Infant mortality (birth cohort), England and Wales. This will merge together the Birth cohort tables for infant deaths (England and Wales) and the Pregnancy and ethnic factors influencing births and infant mortality (England and Wales) 
  • ONS will continue investigations into whether a single underlying cause can be derived for stillbirths and neonatal deaths; and will maintain the ONS hierarchical cause groups until investigations identify a better solution

Results Updated 23 Oct 2017

Files:

Overview

This consultation outlines proposed changes to the annual infant mortality statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and outlines future plans. Feedback from users is encouraged. 

ONS publishes annual infant mortality statistics for England and Wales in a number of key outputs:

The release of these outputs varies depending on timing of the extracts used and the availability of final data from Scotland and Northern Ireland to compile UK data.

 

Why We Are Consulting

ONS is proposing to streamline the number of key outputs, to ensure publication of timely final figures that are fit for purpose. 

Consideration also needs to be given to the content of the future releases to ensure they meet user needs, are in line with disclosure control guidance and provide a sufficient level of information to inform decisions.

Audiences

  • Analysts
  • Academics
  • Charities
  • Government
  • Health professionals
  • Local government
  • Policy managers
  • Researchers
  • Statisticians

Interests

  • Health
  • Population