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  1. ajpenn permalink
    September 20, 2012 12:01

    Thanks for the interesting post. I’d like to add that if you want to map the data – to put it into a more accessible and revealing form – decent GIS software is now free (e.g. QGIS), however, the underlying maps are commercially licensed and very tightly controlled by Ordinance Survey. Outputs are meaningless without these underlying maps.

    • Daniel Turner permalink
      September 20, 2012 15:31

      The OpenStreetMap project has very detailed, royalty free data (including postcode) for all of the UK, and it works well with QGIS.

  2. Alison Gardner permalink
    September 21, 2012 10:55

    Thanks Mark. I’m about to start work on a collaborative PhD based at Nottingham Uni and Nottingham City Council which will look at the impacts of austerity on services at a neighbourhood level. I guess this is another way to track the impact of the downturn – and its only costing the Council 1k per year (I’m such a bargain!)

    NCC have good links with Experian so I’ll be following up to see how much of this data is already in use locally….

    • September 24, 2012 21:48

      Thanks Alison – it would be interesting to hear about this as it develops – Experian as I am sure you know have one of their HQ buildings in Nottingham

  3. Michael Shepherd permalink
    September 24, 2012 15:04

    We wrote a report for the Welsh Government a couple of years ago that found much the same – and that in the valleys, there was no recovery after deindustrialisation – there was also a similar piece of work in Scotland.

    I’m not totally convinced that identifying detailed indicators is really worth the time, but if it is, wouldn’t discount the usefullness of service use data quite so quickly. GP visits are quite a sensitive measure of wellbeing, while prescribing data can similarly track changes in mental health, diabetes, asthma etc which are indicators of levels of social difficulties which respond quickly to changes in circumstances.

    I think your point about the narratives of people experiencing social exclusion and poverty is the most important thing you say here and deserves to be emphasised again and again.

    Whether commissioners of services will actually be interested in delivering services which address inequalities or address social determinants is another matter. When budgets are stretched, it is always easier to use ‘peripheral’ services like health promotion and mental health than to curtail acute surgery or emergency admissions.

    • September 24, 2012 21:47

      Thanks Michael agree with your concerns – and points – particularly with regard to the voice of people who are experiencing issues – commissioning is often a poor proxy for talking to people! We are looking at GP data – and hope to use some. Although I was a bit surprised to be told to be cautious about using prescribing data for anti-depressants because a significant proportion of this was not being prescribed to help people cope with depression!

  4. February 19, 2017 21:36

    Good diagnosis. But regarding credit (default) information, what about privacy?

    • February 20, 2017 09:34

      Cheers Maria – I am talking about aggregate information here – so data at a population level. This is currently how we gather data on other equally sensitive issues – for example cancer or Sexually Transmitted Disease rates.


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