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Health Survey for England; Health, social care and lifestyles

What is the survey?

The Health Survey for England is a major monitoring tool looking at the nation's health. It is used by the Government to plan health services and make important policy decisions that have an impact on us all.

It is an annual survey and has been running since 1991.

Further information on the study

Why are we doing this survey?

Most of us rely on public health services, and the Health Survey for England is used by local authorities and GPs to deliver better healthcare and improve treatment. The survey alerted GPs to the fact that lots of older people weren't aware that they had kidney disease, and, as a result, GPs are now much more vigilant for early symptoms.

The survey has resulted in health awareness campaigns that are helping us all to be healthier, like the 5-a-day campaign to get people to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Who is doing the survey?

The survey is being carried out by NatCen Social Research on behalf of the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

How do you choose who takes part?

We've chosen addresses at random to make sure we get a truly representative picture of everyone living in England. Your address can't be replaced by another one, as this would bias the results.

What does taking part in survey involve?

If you have received a letter asking you to take part, one of our interviewers will soon call at your home to arrange an interview at a time that suits you. The interview itself is really relaxed; there's nothing to prepare and you can skip any questions you don't want to answer.

What data items are collected?

The survey includes information on your physical health, lifestyle behaviours, social care, physical measures, mental health and wellbeing.

What happens to the answers?

The answers will not include names or address on, so your identity will be kept anonymous. The answers from the questionnaire will then be put together with the answers collected from thousands of other people across England.

The answers will be completely confidential and we will make sure that no-one can be identified from the results we publish.

The results collected are used for research purposes only and the findings won't identify anyone who took part. 

You will never receive any junk mail as a result of speaking to us. We never pass on your details to other organisations for commercial purposes.

Latest reports and findings

The latest Health Survey for England report and key findings are available in the HSCIC publication catalogue.

A full anonymised dataset of this series of surveys is available in the UK Data Services Catalogue.

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