Available data and analysis tools to measure health inequalities include:

  • Health profiles and summary reports designed to be used by non-specialists
  • More complex online resources which allow for more in-depth exploration of health inequalities at a local level
  • Analytical tools designed to be used by health analysts
  • Guidance on approaches to measuring health inequalities

Key resources in understanding health inequalities locally are:

Health profiles and summary reports:

  • Health profiles: Set of health indicators designed to help local government and health services make decisions and plans to improve local people’s health and reduce health inequalities.
  • Marmot indicators: reports available to download for each county and unitary authority showing key indicators of the social determinants of health, health outcomes and social inequality that that broadly correspond to the policy recommendations proposed in Fair Society, Healthy Lives, the 2010 Marmot Review.
  • Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF): online data tool with more complex measures designed to summarise inequalities across the country or across smaller geographies. These include life expectancy, healthy life expectancy, life expectancy gap and the slope index of inequality. The inequalities tab of the PHOF tool presents, where available, a breakdown of indicators by deprivation deciles of a local area.

More complex online resources:

  • The Segment Tool: reports available to download for county, unitary and district local authorities with ‘scarf charts’ to show the relative contribution that broad groups of causes of death make to the overall inequality gap in life expectancy. Reports for England as a whole and each English region are also available.
  • Longer Lives: online data tool showing premature mortality for every county and unitary authority in England.
  • Local health: Presents a range of health and health related indicators at small area level.

Analytical tools:

  • Potential years of life (PYLL) lost tool: Designed to support action to reduce deaths from causes considered amenable to healthcare, the PYLL by disease group tool assists CCGs in identifying the broad mortality groups that currently contribute dis-proportionately (relative to England) to the overall PYLL rate. These groups are CHD, stroke, pneumonia, amenable cancers and other amenable causes.
  • Inequalities analysis: Excel spreadsheet designed to be used by analysts to support and standardise calculation of commonly used measures of health inequality.

NHS Right Care

The Right Care programme provides a range of bespoke packs and interactive tools to enable CCGs and LAs to identify those programmes/conditions with the greatest opportunities for improvement.

Using these resources, and the Right Care approach, commissioners can identify inequalities across care pathways and take steps to address them:

Primary Care web tool

The site aims to produce robust, reproducible graphs which are easy to interpret. This site is only available to registered users. you can register on the Primary Care website.

The graphs can be used to look at outcomes by the index of multiple deprivation and identify variations to address.


  • JSNA – the APHO Resource pack 5. Measuring health inequalities (2008): useful guide on approaches to measuring health inequalities.