These population data sets can be used in conjunction with prescribing data.
Variation in prescribing patterns between different practices, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Area Teams may be influenced by population demographics. For example, an area of high unemployment may have a higher number of prescriptions for antidepressants; whereas an area with an elderly population may have greater prescribing rates for cardiovascular medications.
NHS Digital Indicator Portal
A range of datasets is available via the NHS Digital Indicator Portal that could be used to remove bias caused by peripheral influences. The Indicator Portal contains information relating to over 1,000 indicators designed to provide a comprehensive overview of population health at a national, regional and local level. These indicators were previously available on the Clinical and Health Outcomes Knowledge Base website (also known as NCHOD).
Useful datasets include:
- Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010: Indices of Deprivation are generally updated every three years; they are an important tool for identifying the most disadvantaged areas in England so that local policy makers and communities can target their activities at the areas with greatest need for services. IMD is developed and published by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
- The Office of National Statistics (ONS) Area Classification: The Office of National Statistics groups each organisation into twelve area classifications. Area classifications include 'prospering smaller town', 'manufacturing town', and 'London suburb'.
- Mortality Statistics: Age-standardised mortality rates are available for a range of mortality causes (including all causes, stroke and cardiovascular disease).
- NHS Outcomes Framework: The NHS Outcomes Framework indicators will be used by the Secretary of State to hold NHS England to account.
The information contained within the portal is generally to PCO level, however some practice level data is available for lower level analysis.