HES outpatient data was collected for the first time in 2003-04. The Health and Social Care Information Centre first released outpatient data at the end of July 2006 and the data was originally released on an ‘experimental’ basis. Since then, the experimental label has been removed and in 2008 the outpatient published tables were accredited as a National Statistic. This means the data within these specific tables has been produced in accordance with the ‘Code of Practice for Official Statistics’. To fully realise the advantages, the quality and coverage of the HES outpatient data needs to be improved with the support of providers throughout England.