On average, each year in Wales there are some 1167 injury related deaths, 39,290 admissions to hospital following an injury and at least 316,957 injury related Emergency Department (ED) visits.

A key resource to support the reduction of injuries across Wales is the All Wales Injury Surveillance System (AWISS).  AWISS is a population-based, multi-source injury surveillance system, which collects and analyses data on injury risk factors, severity, outcomes and costs, to empower injury prevention practitioners and policy makers, to make evidence based informed decisions.  For example, AWISS data can be used to identify groups at high risk of injury and to support the planning and evaluation of injury related interventions and policies.

Up until 2008, AWISS was solely based on ED data from only major ED departments.  However, the development of the ‘Secure Anonymised Information Linkage’ (SAIL) databank at Swansea University in which the AWISS system operates, opened up opportunities to include additional datasets in AWISS, including: inpatient and outpatient data from the Patient Episode Database for Wales (PEDW), data from approximately 80% of general practices in Wales, mortality data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), data on the treatment of burns from the Welsh Burns Centre, and demographic data from the Welsh Demographic Service (WDS).

A key priority for AWISS is to systematically collect, analyse, and interpret injury data, and share these findings on a regular basis with those responsible for preventing injuries (e.g. injury prevention practitioners & policy makers) with the end goal to support the reduction of injuries in Wales.

AWISS staff continuously strive to improve the quality of the data in the AWISS system. Improving data quality is key for injury surveillance, as it helps to build a more complete and accurate picture of the injury situation across Wales.

AWISS is funded by Public Health Wales, a NHS organisation providing professionally independent public health advice and services to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of the population of Wales.

For background information about AWISS please click here.