This study investigated the relationship between socioeconomic deprivation and the incidence, patterns of injury, process of care and outcome of hand trauma using data collected prospectively on 1234 injuries presented during six months. The Index of Multiple Deprivation 2004 was derived from census data and postcodes. Socioeconomic deprivation is significantly associated with hand trauma. The odds ratio for suffering hand injuries in the most deprived quintile is 1.6 (SE 0.09 95% CI 1.45, 1.83) compared to the least deprived quintile. This is most marked among older children and adults. Fractures, sprains and ligament injuries showed the strongest association with the degree of deprivation. Injuries related to sport were not associated with deprivation. Surgical time utilised is greater in more deprived patients and their self reported physical outcome is worse. Hand surgery units working in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation will have higher trauma workloads and unit costs. Social deprivation may also influence physical outcomes.