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Response to: ‘Concerns about the evidence in relation to implementation of the ProFHER trial’ by Handoll et al
  1. Katharine Reeves1,
  2. Samuel Chan1,
  3. Alastair Marsh1,
  4. Suzy Gallier1,
  5. Catrin Wigley2,
  6. Kamlesh Khunti3,
  7. Richard J Lilford4
  1. 1 Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
  2. 2 Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  3. 3 College of Life Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  4. 4 Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Richard J Lilford, Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK; R.J.Lilford{at}

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We appreciate the comments of Dr Handoll and colleagues1 involved with the Proximal Fracture of the Humerus Evaluation by Randomisation (ProFHER) trial and welcome this opportunity to reply to concerns about possible errors affecting our analysis of their trial.

  1. Regarding the ‘substantial underestimateof baseline numbers, the members of the ProFHER trial management team are correct that there were 18 172 episodes with a primary diagnosis of S42.2 recorded in 2016/2017 by NHS Digital. Due to the fact that we receive monthly Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data, which is not subject to the same annual cleaning process, this figure is 17 739 in our data.

As described in the paper, we go on to apply several exclusions to maximise the probability that our subset of patients have the diagnosis of interest. These exclusions are shown in tables 1 and 2, along with …

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  • Correction notice The paper has been corrected since it was published online first. Figure 2 has been swapped with figure 3 and vice versa.

  • Funding RJL is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Applied Research Collaboration West Midlands (ARC WM). Views expressed are not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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