Helpful sources of data – external tools

There are a number of useful tools and sources of data and intelligence to help stakeholders and members of the public understand and support the reduction of health inequalities.

Most national NHS England programmes will have their own dashboards which will largely be available to those with OKTA accounts. Dashboards are intended to support programme delivery and may include indicators of health inequalities.

The resources listed below complement other national tools including the Health Inequalities Improvement Dashboard and those listed on the ‘other dashboards’ page.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)

Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Visualisations

IHME offers a series of tools to visualise various health inequality indicators based on the GBD study. The GBD study analysed data on deaths, diseases and injuries, and risk factors in over 204 countries and territories. Outputs include country profiles, including those for England and other nations of the United Kingdom. Data visualisation tools including data at the United Kingdom or England level include:

Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID)

Fingertips (various profiles)

Fingertips is a large public health data collection, which includes the Public Health Outcomes Framework. Data is organised into themed profiles including profiles on obesity, tobacco control and alcohol, and the wider determinants of health.

Atlases of Variation

The Atlases of Variation are produced by OHID in collaboration with NHS England and RightCare. It is a resource to help identify unwarranted variation and to assess the value of healthcare provided to populations and individuals. Each of the indicator’s maps, column charts and box-and-whisker plots provides a narrative on  the context for the indicator including a description of the variation and trend data with options for action and a list of evidence-based resources to support this.

National General Practice Profiles

National General Practice Profiles are designed to support GPs, primary care networks (PCNs), clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local authorities to ensure that they are providing and commissioning effective and appropriate healthcare services for their local population. In addition to viewing individual practice profiles, you can view summary profiles for primary care networks (PCNs), clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and other geographies. Each practice can be compared with the CCG or PCN and England.

Segment Tool

The Segment Tool looks at the contribution of different age bands or causes of death to the gap in life expectancy between two areas to inform targeted action.

Health Inequalities Dashboard

The Health Inequalities Dashboard has been developed to present evidence of health inequalities in England. Measures of inequality are provided for key indicators being used to monitor progress on reducing inequalities within England. For some indicators, inequality measures are also provided within regions, upper tier local authorities and NHS clinical commissioning groups.

Local Knowledge and Intelligence Service (LKIS) inequalities slides

LKIS inequalities slides are available from your local LKIS team and aim to support systems in navigating some of the national tools and available data to develop plans to address health inequalities.

Local Health

Local Health provides quality assured, small area health-related data, visualised in maps, charts, area profiles, and reports. It offers a set of tools to explore a large number of health-related indicators, which can be analysed, compared, mapped and exported for further use.

Strategic Health Asset Planning and Evaluation (SHAPE)

SHAPE is a web enabled, evidence based application that informs and supports the strategic planning of services and assets across a whole health economy. SHAPE links national data sets, clinical analysis, public health, primary care and demographic data with information on healthcare estates performance and facilities location. The application also includes a fully integrated geographical information system mapping tool and supports travel time analysis.


You can find the following RightCare resources and tools on FutureNHS collaboration platform (this platform requires a log in).

RightCare data packs

RightCare System Transformation Partnership (STP) and Clinical Comissioning Group (CCG) data packs help health and care professionals use data, evidence and intelligence to identify issues and opportunities. By applying RightCare guidance and tools, systems can deliver improvements for patients and their populations. NHS RightCare gives local health economies in England practical support in gathering intelligence, data, evidence and tools to help them improve the way care is delivered for their patients and populations.

Long term conditions packs

Long term conditions packs contain data on a number of disease areas and elements of care. The packs enable local health economies to examine the different stages within the care pathways for a number of long-term conditions.  The packs include case studies, tools and guidance to support improvements.

Commissioning for Value “Where to look Packs”

Commissioning for Value “Where to look Packs” cover the main NHS England programmes including cardiovascular disease, respiratory, mental health and cancer. The packs compare systems with similar demographics to enable realistic comparisons to be made. This will support systems to ensure local plans focus on opportunities that present the most potential to deliver the biggest improvements in health outcomes and resource allocation; helping to reduce unwarranted variation and health inequalities.

Equality and Health Inequalities packs

Equality and Health Inequalities packs aim to support health and care systems to design and deliver services that work to narrow health inequalities in access to services and health outcomes for their diverse local populations. The information contained in each pack is specific to each local health system and should be used to support local discussions and inform a more in-depth analysis. By using these packs, together with other NHS RightCare packs and local intelligence, health systems will be able to ensure plans focus on those opportunities which have the potential to provide the biggest improvements in health outcomes and resource allocations and the biggest reductions in health inequalities.

Local authority resources

LG inform

LG Inform is a local area benchmarking tool developed by the Local Government Association (LGA) and local authority champions. It brings together intelligence to help local authorities make the right decisions about their local areas.

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

JSNAs will be the means by which local leaders work together to understand and agree the needs of all local people, with the joint health and wellbeing strategy setting the priorities for collective action. Taken together they will be the pillars of local decision-making, focussing leaders on the priorities for action and providing the evidence base for decisions about local services. JSNAs are available on local authority websites.

Helpful websites

The following websites also have a range of important and influential analyses and papers relating to health inequalities