Hospital admissions for unintentional injuries in under 18s confirmed as public health indicator

Hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries in under 18s have been confirmed as one of the public health indicators as part of the new Public Health Outcomes Framework for England, 2013 – 2016.

This is an important and welcomed step for those working in child injury prevention as the indicator will be a lever for professionals to plan and deliver programmes and initiatives which prevent accidents to children.

The framework focuses on two high level outcomes for the public health system:

  • Increased healthy life expectancy
  • Reduced differences in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy between communities.

The hospital admissions indicator for under 18s is one of the key health improvement outcome measures. It aims to help people to live healthy lifestyles, make healthy choices and reduce health inequalities.

The indicator definition includes the two age breakdowns of 0-4 year olds and 5-17 year olds.

The rationale for this indicator included in summary technical specifications of public health indicators states:

“Injuries are a leading cause of hospitalisation and represent a major cause of premature mortality for children and young people. They are also a source of long-term health issues, including mental health related to experience(s). The inclusion of this indicator is key for cross-sectoral and partnership working to reduce injuries, including child safeguarding.”

Related indicators for child injury prevention

Other related indicators in the framework include:

  • child development at 2 – 2.5 years
  • children in poverty
  • killed and seriously injured casualties on England’s roads (all ages); and
  • mortality from causes considered preventable.

For some of these indicators, further work is being done to produce their definitions.

A strategy for children and young people's health and well-being

The framework also states that a strategy for children and young people's health and well-being will be developed to ensure that the outcomes measured are those most relevant to children, young people and their families and to professionals.

The strategy development will be led by a Children and Young People’s Forum, which will advise on outcomes and approaches to delivered.

More information

For more detailed indicator specifications and a summary factsheet on the framework and the indicators, visit the Department of Health (DH) site:

Related news

DH has just published draft statutory guidance for health and wellbeing boards on how to develop JSNAs. They are currently seeking views on the guidance.

Updated April 2012