This project was funded between October 2018 and September 2019.

  • Hosted and run by Care City, in collaboration with health and council teams in Barking and Dagenham.
  • Aimed to build the skills of local analysts from across health and council teams, and demonstrate the value of connected datasets.
  • Used a linked dataset to explore the impact of social isolation on health and care utilisation.

Analytics teams in health and council organisations are focused on reporting and analysis to inform future actions and decision-making. However, they use unconnected datasets. Linked datasets provide a more complete understanding of service use, and population characteristics and behaviours.

This project, led by Care City, aimed to build analyst capability alongside demonstrating the value of linked datasets.

A local community of practice has been established, recruiting 12 analysts from across council, public health and commissioning teams. A bespoke R (an open-source statistical programming language) training programme was delivered, following a training needs baseline assessment.

In Barking and Dagenham, one of the most deprived communities in the UK, an area of particular concern is social isolation. This project used a linked dataset to better understand the impact living alone has on health and care utilisation across primary, hospital, community, mental health and social care.

The project used an existing five-year retrospective dataset which has secure, anonymised, linked data from councils, health providers and health commissioners at an individual level. It includes information on individual characteristics (e.g. age, ethnicity, health status), features of the local area (e.g. transport accessibility, levels of deprivation), and health and social care use (e.g. hospital attendances, GP contacts, social care packages).

The project team demonstrated the value of the linked dataset and its potential to provide insights into health and social care planning and delivery, and approval was given to update the dataset on an annual basis.

The project has led to an improvement in analytical capability and enables researchers to be given access to bespoke datasets so they can conduct local analysis.

Contact information

For more information about this project, contact Jenny Shand, Executive Lead, Care City.

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