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A critical evaluation of HIPE data.Resource allocation and planning of future services is dependent on current volumes, making it imperative that procedural data is accurately recorded. We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the information gathered by the Hospital Inpatient Enquiry (HIPE) system in recording such activity. Five index vascular procedures (open/endovascular abdominal aneurysm repair, carotid endarterectomy, lower limb angioplasty/bypass) were chosen to reflect activity. The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), and HIPE databases were interrogated to obtain the regional and hospital specific figures for the years 2005, 2006 and 2009, and then compared with the prospective vascular database in St James's hospital. Data for 2006 (the most recent year available) shows significant discrepancies between the HIPE and vascular database figures for St James's hospital. The HIPE and database figures respectively for; open aneurysm 13/30 (-50%), endovascular aneurysm 39/31 (+25%), carotid 62/48 (+29%), angioplasty 242/111 (+100%) and bypass 24/10 (+100%) These inaccuracies are likely to be magnified on a regional and national level when pooling data.