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Data sharing for prevention: a case study in the development of a comprehensive emergency department injury surveillance system and its use in preventing violence and alcohol-related harms
  1. Zara Quigg,
  2. Karen Hughes,
  3. Mark A Bellis
  1. Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
  1. Correspondence to Zara Quigg, Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University, 15-21 Webster Street, Liverpool L3 2ET, UK; z.a.quigg{at}


Objective To examine emergency department (ED) data sharing via a local injury surveillance system and assess its contribution to the prevention of violence and alcohol-related harms.

Methods 6-year (2004–2010) exploratory study analysing injury attendances to one ED in the North West of England using descriptive and trend analyses.

Results Over the 6-year period, there were 242 796 ED injury attendances, including 21 683 for intentional injuries. Compared with unintentional injury patients, intentional injury patients were more likely to be men, aged 18–34 years, live in the most deprived communities, have attended the ED at night/weekends, have been injured in a public place and have consumed alcohol prior to the injury. Detailed data collected on alcohol and violence-related ED attendances were shared with local partners to monitor local trends and inform prevention activity including targeted policing and licensing enforcement. Over the 6-year period, intentional ED injury attendances decreased by 35.6% and alcohol-related assault attendances decreased by 30.3%.

Conclusions The collection of additional ED data on assault details and alcohol use prior to injury, and its integration into multi-agency policy and practice, played an important role in driving local violence prevention activity. Further research is needed to assess the direct contribution ED data sharing makes to reductions in violence.

  • Injury
  • violence
  • surveillance
  • emergency department
  • prevention
  • public health
  • case study
  • alcohol/drugs
  • recreation
  • behavioural
  • environment

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

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  • Funding The Trauma and Injury Intelligence Group (TIIG) injury surveillance system (ISS) in Wirral is funded by Wirral Primary Care Trust.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The emergency department data were obtained from Wirral NHS Trust. All data shared were depersonalised and conform to the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and relevant government data sharing guidelines.

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