Edition 1

North East Public Health
Observatory Newsletter

24th Aug 2010


Welcome to the first edition of the quarterly NEPHO newsletter

This newsletter will bring you a brief digest of the current work being produced by the teams here at NEPHO, allowing you to quickly find the most relevant news, reports, events and current research that you're looking for.


Latest Activity from the NEPHO analytical team
Handy APHO Tools for professionals and analysts
PCT public health indicators now in SHAPE
Offender drugs misuse publication in The National Library for Public Health
Children's BMI in the Obesity Observatory
NDTMS National Conference June 2010
Launch of the new Learning Disability Observatory website
Easier access to Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) information for Ad hoc requests
PHINE continues to support the North East
New staff at the RMSO (Regional Maternity Survey Office)
Latest activity in the IT team

Latest activity from the NEPHO analytical team

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Current analytical work at NEPHO

The Local Authority Health Profiles were launched on Tuesday 6th July.

The new Learning Disabilities Observatory website was launched on the 27th July and produced by NEPHO. The analytical team produced the Instant Atlas maps of various learning disabilities statistics in England for the numbers section of the website.

North East Health Improvement Dashboard has been updated, a web based visual management information system that reflects the 10 themes included in the North East Regional Strategy 'Better Health, Fairer Health'.

An occasional NEPHO paper for the 2006/07 & 2007/08 Mental Health Minimum Dataset (MHMDS) is nearing completion. The paper will address quality issues found in the data.

A Primary Care Mortality Dataset is being established for the North East, providing death records which include the general practice the deceased was registered with. We aim to use this new data to look at life expectancy and premature mortality rates for general practices and GP led commissioning groups.

Smoking Profiles are being produced with the Association of Public Health Observatories (APHO) and completion of the web based tool is expected by the end of September 2010.

Practice Profiles are a developing APHO product collating over 100 indicators to provide summary information for each general practice. Completion is expected by the October 2010.

Count-Me-In Prison Census 2009 results - NEPHO report on results planned for October 2010.

European work - In the final phase of collating and calculating indictors at sub-regional level for the I2SARE project (Phase 2 of ISARE: Indicateurs de santé dans le region d’Europe - Health Indicators in the European Regions). 268 regional profiles for Europe will be published in September 2010

Lung resection rates - inequality of access to surgery across the network and comparatively with the rest of the registry region, report planned for Autumn 2010. National Lung Cancer Audit report

Average stage at diagnosis indicators for skin, colorectal, breast and cervical cancers, report planned for winter 2010.

Handy APHO Tools for professionals and analysts

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APHO Analytical Tools

  • Funnel plot for count data
  • Funnel plot for rates (including directly standardized rates)
  • Funnel plot for proportions and percentages
  • Funnel plot for indirectly standardized ratios (SMRs)
  • Disease prevalence models

Other external tools

Local Basket of Indicators - This tool has been developed in conjunction with the Information Centre to improve access to the indicators by making data easier to locate and extract. Comparisons can also be made more readily with local areas or with England as a whole.

Commissioning Toolkit for Diabetes - YHPHO has produced a summary of diabetes measures based on The Better Metrics Project to help local services assess "where they are now". This resource can be used to help people benchmark and prioritise areas where further improvement is needed.

Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE)- updated October 2009 - comprising 23 updated indicators, including new data for the National Indicator 39 hospital admissions for alcohol-related harm. Profiles are now available for the April 2009 revised Local Authority boundaries. Produced by NWPHO.

Health Inequalities Toolkit- This is designed to assist evidence-based local service planning and commissioning, including Joint Strategic Needs Assessments. The tools include, Life Expectancy Gaps, Commissioning Interventions, Spearhead Tool 03-05 & 05-07 data, the Infant Mortality tool, and the Intervention tool.

Health Profiles- Health Profiles provide a snapshot of health for each area in England using key health indicators, which enables comparison locally, regionally and over time. They are designed to help local councils and the NHS decide where to target resources and tackle health inequalities in their local area.

HES e-Atlas - an interactive template displaying age-standardised rates for common primary diagnosis and procedures at local authority level.

Health Needs Assessment (HNA) toolkit- The Health Needs Assessment toolkit is designed to support PCTs and their strategic partners with their health intelligence requirements, providing a single point of access to a range of indicators of health needs.

Mental Health & Wellbeing Scorecard- The scorecard currently focuses on 8 performance areas: primary care services, community care services, inpatient services, psychological services, delivering race equality, social inclusion, age-specific populations, and financial spend on mental health services.

Health Poverty Index (HPI) - The HPI visualisation tool allows you to view health-related data comparing two different populations. You can visualise the data in a variety of different formats - spider charts, bar-charts, HTML tables and Excel tables - and reuse these tables and charts in your own documents.

PCT public health indicators now in SHAPE

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The Strategic Health Asset Planning and Evaluation (SHAPE) toolkit has recently updated its website to include a range of public health indicators. SHAPE now allows PCTs to benchmark their performance on specified public health indicators such as early mortality from cancer or teenage pregnancy rates. The SHAPE toolkit now boasts an interactive dataset that includes: inpatient and outpatient activity, estate profiles, population demographics and public health all linked together using GIS mapping technology. Indicators for primary care and workforce are coming soon. To register for SHAPE please email the helpdesk at shape@nepho.org.uk.

Offender drugs misuse publication in the National Library for Public Health

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The National Library for Public Health publishes three Evidence Updates each year. Our most recent was published in June and focussed on Drugs Misuse in Offender Populations with a special focus on female offenders. The Evidence Update looks to gather policy, guidance, and high quality evidence published in the previous year. It is reviewed by experts in the field of drugs misuse and/or offender health for quality. This year we had expertise from the Department of Health, Offender Health office via David Marteau and the King's College London, Addiction's Centre John Witton.

Children and Obesity

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The National Obesity Observatory (NOO) has published its latest report: National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP): Changes in children's body mass index between 2006/07 and 2008/09.

NOO has launched the weekly Knowledge Update (KU), providing a snapshot of the latest obesity related research, reviews, news, reports and data, alongwith the biannual NOO newsletter.

National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) Conference

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The 2nd National NDTMS Staff Conference was held on the 22nd June 2010 - Guests were invited from the National Treatment Agency's (NTA) central team. The event allowed many opportunities for discussion and learning of "tips and tricks" and sharing of best practice.

In addition there was a presentation around Drug Awareness from Addaction (UK) and opportunities for workshop discussions around the Treatment Outcome Profile, Prison NDTMS data quality, data migrations, training facilitation, the new View It facility from the National Drug Evidence Centre (NDEC) and data quality.

Launch of the new Learning Disabilities Observatory website

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The Learning Disabilities Observatory: Improving Health and Lives website (IHAL) was launched on the 27th July 2010. It offers a resource of information for people with learning disabilities, their carers, and health professionals. IHAL has many accessibility options, and provides pages for forums, news, projects and statistics, it is also very user friendly.

Easier access to Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) information for ad hoc requests

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The HES team are currently carrying out some additional work to its recent ad hoc data requests to get them onto the PHINE HES User Group.

The information uploaded so far is limited, but we will be adding to the collection on a weekly basis. This should enable HES analysts and other interested parties to see the type of data we can supply, and may also answer some questions without the need for a further data request. If you have a new request, or would like to see a version of the data that we have not uploaded, please get in touch with Rebecca Lee.

Public Health Intelligence North East (PHINE) continues to support the North East

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Introduction to Public Health Intelligence Training Course starts September to November 2010. This course aims to meet the public health skills and knowledge needs of analysts in PCTs, the SHA or local authorities and GP Commissioners. Although it is aimed at analysts new to public health, some of the sessions may also be of benefit to public health specialists.

PHINE supports working and information sharing across the North East region. Using online social networking technologies, PHINE working groups can interact online using discussion forums, files sharing mechanisms and a whole wealth of other tools. PHINE supports working from research, through evidence and into practice.

New staff at the Regional Maternity Survey Office (RMSO)

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The RMSO has been working to improve the health outcomes of mothers and babies in the North East and North Cumbria by supporting clinical audit, research and surveillance since 1981. We have recently made three key appointments, including the RMSO Midwife, Dr Nicola Miller, a Data Analyst, Mr Mark Green, who will be managing data for the newly established Northern Neonatal Network and a Public Health Information Specialist, funded by ChiMat, who will start in the autumn.

A regional review of the pregnancy-related care of women with pre-pregnancy diabetes has recently been circulated to all relevant clinicians - a summary of which is available on the NEPHO website. Recent academic publications include Maternal body mass index and congenital anomaly risk: a cohort study, and Survival in infants live born at less than 24 weeks' gestation: the hidden morbidity of non-survivors.

Latest activity in the IT team

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We have been listening to your feedback to simplify the navigation and the number of main sections on the NEPHO website, so popular sections such as news and events will now be merged and we'll create a new section called 'data and publications'. We'd love to hear some feedback on the new NEPHO site before it goes live.

The North East Health Improvement Dashboard is a web-based system which provides frequently updated data about each of the ten key regional health improvement themes identified by the regional strategy 'Better Health, Fairer Health'. The number of indicators continues to grow, and we've recently added lots of new data about obesity, diet and physical activity. We love to hear your feedback, and are now working on some modifications which makes the tool more customisable and more user friendly.