NNAP data flow and methodology

The National Neonatal Audit Programme (NNAP) collects data from neonatal units from across England and Wales and reports annually. Please see below for information about the data flow process, our data protection impact assessment, outlier management policy and Trust quality account information.

Data flow in the NNAP

Below is a diagram detailing the updated NNAP data flow for England and Wales. A more detailed diagram of the NNAP data flow is also available in the downloads section below:

In the Downloads section below you will be able to view copies of the Health Research Authority Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) letters of support for the updated NNAP data flow and required amendments.

Privacy and data protection

National Data Opt-Out (England)

The NNAP has been granted a deferral from the NHS National Data Opt-Out (NDO). Full details can be found in the CAG deferral letter from December 2022, available to download below. This means that the National Data Opt-Out should now not be applied to the confidential patient information used without consent for the NNAP. Full details of the NNAP NDO and the associated privacy notices can be found here

You can read more about this on the NHS Digital website, which also has a list of programmes to which the NDO should not be applied.

Please note that parents still have the right to choose for their baby’s information to not be used for the purpose of the NNAP by informing staff on the neonatal unit where they are receiving care. This should be recorded by the neonatal unit within the BadgerNet clinical system using the opt out check box.

Outlier management policy

The NNAP manages outliers according to the NNAP: Detection and management of outlier status for 2021 data policy and in line with HQIP guidance for the detection and management of outliers in England and Wales.

You can download the NNAP outlier management policy for 2021 data below.

Trust quality account information

The NNAP is included in the NHS England Quality Accounts list, which is available from the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) website.

HQIP also publishes the National Clinical Audit and Enquiries Directory which should answer most of your questions relating to the NNAP.

All neonatal units in England, Wales and Scotland are eligible to participate in the NNAP. The audit expects 100% case ascertainment from participating units. To find the list of participating units for the latest published year of results, see Appendix A NNAP 2020 data results and methods.

The table below summarises NNAP data collection periods and expected report publication dates.

Data collection period Expected annual report publication date
1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 November 2022
1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022 November 2023
1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023 November 2024

Data dictionary

You can view the full NNAP data dictionary for the 2021 data year on our NNAP measures page.

Methodology and Statistical Analysis Plan

The purpose of this document is to provide a detailed methodological overview of the data and measure development steps and analyses contained in the NNAP annual reports. It is not designed to relate specifically to any one report year but will be periodically updated annually to ensure that it is in line with the latest NNAP methodology.

You can download the NNAP Methodology and Statistical Analysis below.