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Tuesday 18th June 2019

Annual health survey could be coming to an end

28th March 2011

A row has erupted over plans to shut down the Annual Lifestyle Survey as part of cost cutting measures.


The Office for National Statistics carries out the survey every year for a variety of government departments.

The data provided by the survey reveals information about smoking and alcohol consumption around the country.

However government proposals include stopping the survey in order to save money.

Around 15,000 households are contacted by the survey every year and the ONS carries out interviews with people to determine how they use the health service, if they smoke or drink and if they are employed, how educated they are and other issues.

The ONS has carried out the survey since 1971 but now the NHS Information Centre has made the decision to stop its fund of £300,000 which contributes to the cost of the ONS survey.

 The Head of the UK Statistics Authority Sir Michael Scholar said: "The ONS, who, following extensive consultation with the users of their statistics, have just completed their post-budget cuts business plan, have no funds available to make up this shortfall, without damaging their own vital economic and social statistics."

"The decision by the NHS Information Centre will, therefore, result in the immediate discontinuation of long-established National Statistics on smoking, drinking, health conditions and use of heath services." 

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