Rightcare methodology


RightCare starts with a review of indicative data to identify local opportunities to reduce unwarranted variation and improve population health.

Data includes indicators across the whole pathway of care including risk factors, prevalence, elective and non-elective spend and admissions, prescribing and outcomes.

RightCare data is presented in packs that allows local health and care systems and places to consider information from across whole pathways of care and identify the greatest opportunities for improvement in both spend and health and care outcomes.

As most health conditions are linked to demographic factors, such as deprivation and age, RightCare data compares health and care systems (ICS, sub-ICS localities and PCNs) to their most similar 10 comparator systems, based on 12 demographic variables covering deprivation, population age distribution, population density, and representation of ethnic and minority groups. This is to provide realistic comparisons to peers and accounting for the health and care needs for different populations.

The data and methodology used to calculate the similar 10 can be found on the National RightCare FutureNHS site. RightCare also provides place-based opportunity data by presenting the sum of all the equivalent opportunities of the systems in that area in one pack.

The three main data sources which make up a significant number of RightCare indicators are Secondary Uses Service (SUS+) inpatient data, Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), and ePACT prescribing data supplied by the NHS Business Services Authority.

For more information about RightCare data visit the Resources page.

Model Health System

RightCare data is now also included on the Model Health System (MHS); a data-driven improvement tool that supports health and care systems to improve care outcomes and population health.

As well as RightCare and Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) quality indicators, the MHS includes a wide range of health or health related information. These include population health; community, acute, and mental health services; ambulance service activity; prescribing; and electronic staff records. Data is available by Trust or ICS.

The MHS provides an opportunity to explore individual metrics in detail and compare information over multiple time points, both within and across years, and exploring system and trust level information.

Further information can be found at model.nhs.uk.


Once a condition area or change topic has been identified by the data as an area with opportunity for improvement, the RightCare tools can help show systems what good care looks like and facilitate discussion.

Our tools are developed in close collaboration with national clinical leaders, service user and public representative groups, third sector organisations, Royal Colleges and other key stakeholders such as Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) and NICE.

Systems can use these tools to explore what, why and how changes can be made to improve care quality and health outcomes.

For more information about RightCare tools visit the Resources page.


RightCare data and tools can be used as part of a population health management approach to help identify and prioritise areas for action. This can help accelerate recovery and relieve acute pressures through, for example, pathway optimisation and channel shift.

Local system and regional analysts can support the interpretation of data packs and offer insight into the areas of greatest opportunity for improvement within a health and care system.  Regional improvement resources were devolved in 2020 and should be approached in the first instance. Some regions refer to these staff as ‘delivery partners’ or ‘system improvement partners’ and for most regions they are collectively in their improvement hubs.

Please contact the team at rightcare@nhs.net for any queries concerning data interpretation, pack contents and other resources to change areas (such as care pathways), or delivery support.