Key Datasets

Introduction

Plymouth City Council’s Public Health Team has access to a wealth of information related to the health of the local population. This includes information on mortality and morbidity as well as information from local population-wide surveys. The Team are also able to access data from regional and national bodies such as Public Health England and NHS Digital. This information is used across the Council to enable health outcomes to be monitored and health improvement initiatives to be prioritised. There is widespread recognition that these sources could be further exploited by groups and individuals with the capacity to derive added value from such analysis. Therefore this webpage has been developed to provide a high level summary of the key datasets available to Plymouth City Council’s Public Health Team and their partners across the city.  

A range of reports based on these and other datasets are available on the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) website

The process for requesting access to these datasets is described below:

Data sharing opportunities

If partners in the city are keen to explore analysis of topics of mutual interest, it may be possible for the public health team to provide access to anonymised extracts from some of the datasets listed in this document. Plymouth City Council has a data sharing agreement that would need to be completed. We welcome reciprocal data sharing agreements. Please send initial enquiries by email to the Public Health Intelligence Team at this address: odph@plymouth.gov.uk

Key datasets

1)   GP population register

The GP population register dataset set is managed by NHS Digital and is downloaded as a spreadsheet. Information is available monthly. The register includes the following aggregate data: number of patients, age group, and sex. A second file contains the practice population by lower super output areas.

This dataset can be used to track changes in Plymouth's population structure over time.

We hold GP population registration data from 2013.

Further general information is available is available on the Patients registered at a GP practice website

2)   Birth extract

The birth extract is managed by NHS Digital and is sent to us on a quarterly basis.We are able to access data for Plymouth, Devon and Torbay to allow work to be produced across Devon as a whole.

The dataset records individual births to mothers in particular calendar years. There are approximately 3,000 records each year for Plymouth. Individual records include the following fields: date of birth, child’s sex, child’s birth weight, mother's marital status and postcode of residence.

This dataset is particularly useful for calculating and monitoring low birth weight proportions at sub-city level.

We hold birth data from 1996.

Further general information can be found on the Vital Statistics Tables website

3)   Primary caremortality dataset (PCMD)

The PCMD is managed by NHS Digital and is accessed securely through the NHS N3 network (the virtual NHS network). Information is available annually, this dataset is also known as the annual mortality extract. The team is able to access data for Plymouth, Devon and Torbay to allow work to be produced across Devon as a whole.

The dataset records the deaths of residents registered in particular years. Individual records include the following fields: address of deceased, place of death, date of death, date of birth, sex, cause of death (ICD coded), and GP practice code.

This dataset is particularly useful for calculating mortality rates by age, sex and cause of death at sub-city level. For example, lung cancer mortality rates are calculated at sub-city levels showing numbers of deaths and directly age-standardised rates with confidence intervals. The PCMD is also used to calculate life expectancy rates across the city.

A report is available on our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)website

We hold mortality data from 1996. The annual extracts are usually made available in the autumn of the following year, i.e.the extract for calendar year 2016 was made available in autumn 2017.

Further general information is available on the Primary Care Mortality website

4)   Information from local registrars

Births and deaths are recorded at the Plymouth Register Office. The team receives copies of birth and death information held by the Council on a weekly basis. None of the information in this dataset is coded; it is simply a record of the information given to the registrar by the informant at the time of registering a birth or a death. 

Individual records for births include the following fields: name of child, sex of child, date of birth of child, NHS number of child, name of mother and name of father. Individual records for deaths include the following fields: name of deceased,sex of deceased, date of death of deceased, date of birth of deceased, usual address, place of death and cause of death. 

This dataset is mainly used to monitor key causes of death as it is more current than the PCMD. It is also used by us to enable other council teams to update their databases (e.g. to remove people from lists). 

We hold information for births from 2013 and for deaths from 2002. 

For further general information, please see our Births, Marriages and Deaths website

5)   Hospital data (A&E, inpatient and outpatient)

Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) is managed by NHS Digital and the team accesses the HES securely. HES is a records-based system that covers all NHS trusts in England, including acute hospitals, primary care trusts and mental health trusts. HES comprises a large collection of separate records (one for each period or episode of care). A single admission to hospital may therefore comprise multiple episodes. HES contains details of all outpatient appointments, A&E attendances and inpatient care at NHS hospitals in England. Information available from HES includes patient demographics, diagnoses and procedures.

This dataset is particularly useful for calculating hospital admission rates by age, sex and main diagnosis at sub-city level. For example, A&E attendance data was recently used to calculate the levels of self-harming and subsequent attendance at the emergency department. Inpatient admission rates are calculated each year for a number of causes including falls, emergency admissions of all types, and cardiovascular disease. Outpatient data may be used to calculate ‘Did Not Attend’ (DNA) rates.

We access HES data on a five-year rolling basis.  

For further general information, please visit the Hospital Episode Statistics website 

6) Public Health England (PHE) profiles

PHE produces profiles that are a rich source of information across a range of health and well being themes. The range of profiles allows users to:

  • Browse indicators at different geographical levels
  • Bench mark against the regional or England average
  • Export data to use locally

The profiles are designed to support local JSNA processes and inform the commissioning of local services. They are available to the public.

For further general information, please go to the Public Health Profiles website

7)   Census data

Census data is available from the Nomis or ONSwebsites. The 2011 Census provides aggregate information on the following fields: accommodation and facilities, car ownership, demographics, health,carers, qualifications, and economic activity.

The team used the LSOA level data to produce the 2011 Census profiles at neighbourhood,ward, locality, children’s centre, and children’s centre cluster geographies for Plymouth. These profiles are available on our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment website

Further general information can be found at the Office for National Statistics website or Nomis Official Labour Market Statistics

8)   Data received from local NHS partners

8a) Plymouth Hospital's NHS Trust (PHNT)

Smoking status at the time of delivery (pregnancy)

PHNT provides the dataset on smoking status when requested each year. The dataset records each individual birth to mothers. Individual records for each birth include the following fields: postcode, estimated gestation, smoking status of mother at delivery and date of birth of the baby. 

This dataset is particularly useful for reporting on smoking in pregnancy at sub-city level.

Further general information is available on the Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery, England - Quarter 4, 2016-17 website

We hold data on smoking status from 2005.

Teenage pregnancy

PHNT provides data on teenage conceptions at our request each year. The statistics are tabulated and contain information for births, terminations, and miscarriages taking place in the hospital (this is provided for females under and under 16 years old). 

This dataset is particularly useful for calculating conception rates at sub-city level. The reduction of the teenage pregnancy rate is a key target for both the NHS and Plymouth City Council.

Further information can be found in the PHE report ‘Teenage pregnancy and young parents: Report for Plymouth’

We hold data on teenage pregnancies from 2004.

8b) NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

GP referrals to hospital

All Plymouth GP referrals to the Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust are electronically sent to and collated by Tamar Referral and Appointments Centre (TRAC). This dataset is requested annually from the CCG. There are approximately 4,000 referrals per month. In addition to the medical reason for referral, the key public health indicators (risk factors to health) of smoking status, body mass index and blood pressure at referral date are recorded, along with geographic and demographic data.

Information on these risk factors to health is particularly useful when forecasting the level of public health interventions required across the city.

A report is available on our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) website

We hold GP referral data from 2010.

8c) Livewell Southwest

Health visitor caseload survey data

Livewell Southwest provides data on the health visitor caseloads in Plymouth. This information is collected every other year. The dataset includes information on 31 family-related health needs factors. The factors cover observations on the health, social and lifestyle situation of the family, together with identification of illnesses and disabilities. The assessment is based on what the health visitor has recorded about the families on their caseload at the time of the survey. Survey results are analysed on an aggregated geographical basis only.

This dataset provides a particularly useful source of information about the family environment in which children aged 0-5 years are raised. A report is available on our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)website

We hold caseload survey data from 2002. 

Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ)

Livewell Southwest provides data on the ASQ for Plymouth which is requested by us each quarter. The ASQ is completed when the child is due for the two to two year review with a health visitor. The questionnaire covers five domains: communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, problem solving, and personal-social development. The dataset contains the following fields: age, sex, postcode, domain area, ASQ score and threshold level.

This dataset is particularly useful for identifying children who are not developing as expected and who may require additional support in order to maximise their learning and development so that they are ready for school by age five.

For further general information, please visit the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) analysis: October 2016 to March 2017 website

Dental extractions under general anaesthetic in children

Livewell Southwest provides data on dental extractions under general anaesthetic in children for Plymouth which is requested by us annually. The numbers of dental extractions carried out under general anaesthetic are recorded by Plymouth Community Dental Ltd, based at the Dental Access Centre. The dataset includes the following fields: age, postcode, and number of teeth extracted.

This dataset is used to inform the strategies to improve the oral health of children and young people in Plymouth and for the commissioning of services according to the needs of the population.  A report is available on our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)website

We hold data on dental extractions from 2014.

9)   Data received from local non-NHS partners

Public health is concerned to address the wider determinants of health. However, many of these determinants are not within the direct remit of the team (e.g.economic activity). Partnership working and data sharing is therefore essential to enable the team to create a fuller picture (at small area level) of those factors which influence people's health in Plymouth. Data sharing protocols (and good-will) with partners in the city allow the team to access aggregated information on a range of factors including: educational attainment, housing, substance misuse, and crime.

10)   Local surveys

Health and Wellbeing surveys

The public health team occasionally commissions local surveys or contributes questions to local surveys. For example, a city-wide wellbeing survey was carried out in 2014. This survey established baseline levels of health and wellbeing for adults across the city to inform the Thrive Plymouth programme. The Plymouth City Survey undertaken in 2018 includes a few health and wellbeing questions in addition to other questions.  

School-based health and wellbeing surveys

A school-based health and wellbeing survey has been carried out in secondary schools across Plymouth since 2014. The survey is completed by year 8 and year 10 pupils and happens every other year. Since 2016 a similar primary school survey has been carried out in key stage 2 and is undertaken every other year.

Reports from these school surveys are available on the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)website

11)   National Cancer Registration and AnalysisService (ad-hoc requests for data)

The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) aims to collect data on all cases of cancer that occur in people living in England. The data is used to support public health, healthcare and research. NCRAS provide data to the Office for National Statistics on new cases of cancer and cancer survival, monitor new cases of cancer in the population, and look at trends and geographical patterns, so that we can detect risk factors and cancer clusters.

Periodically there is a need to liaise with the NCRAS for information on cancer rates at local level. A recent example of this was the review of cases of specific cancers in areas of Plymouth close to the Dockyard for the Devonport Local Liaison Committee.

For further general information, please visit The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service website

12)   National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) 

The NCMP is a mandated responsibility of local public health teams. In Plymouth it is delivered by the School Nursing Team. The School Nursing Team weigh and measure approximately 5,000 children (in reception and year 6 classes) in infant, junior and primary schools on an annual basis.

The resulting dataset includes the following fields: height, weight, body mass index, postcode, date of birth, and school. The results of the programme are made publicly available by neighbourhood, locality, and deprivation group of child residence.

A report is available on our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) website

We hold NCMP data from 2007.

For further general information please visit the National Child Measurement Programme website

13)   Child Health Information System (CHIS)

The CHIS contains a vast amount of information about the health of children (up to age 18 years). It comprises clinical care records of all the children in an area,ideally containing information about an individual child’s public health interventions, particularly screening, immunisations, and outcomes of the 0 to 5 healthy child programme (including the mandated review points) and, where relevant, information for use in the safeguarding of children.

The data is requested by us in order to monitor local trends in child health, e.g.breastfeeding status at 6-8 weeks and immunisation status at sub-city level.

For further general information, please visit the Local Government Association Child Health Information Services website

14)   Experian Mosaic

Experian Mosaic is a geo-demographic segmentation tool. Geo-demographics has been defined as the analysis of people by where they live. The term is commonly used to describe the classification of small areas and the use of geography to help draw general conclusions about the characteristics and behaviours (social,economic, and cultural) of the people who live in them. The underlying premise is that similar people live in similar places, do similar things, and have similar lifestyles i.e. that ‘birds of a feather flock together’. 

The data is used by us to identify differences within the city. The public health team has access to the postcode and household directories with the associated Mosaic group and type codes. There is also a Grand Index containing a large number of national datasets coded against Mosaic and providing information about which Mosaic groups and types are more likely to display certain lifestyle characteristics. 

Further general information can be found on the Experian Mosaic website

15)   Index of multiple deprivation (IMD) 2015

The IMD 2015 is the current official measure of relative deprivation for small areas (or neighbourhoods) in England. The IMD combines information from the following seven domains to produce an overall relative measure of deprivation: income; employment; education, skills and training; health and disability; crime; barriers to housing and services; and living environment. 

The IMD ranks every small area in England from 1 (most deprived area) to 32,844 (least deprived area). It is common to describe how relatively deprived a small area is by saying whether it falls among the most deprived 10 per cent, 20 per cent or 30 per cent of small areas in England (although there is no definitive cut-off at which an area is described as ‘deprived’). 

Analysis has been carried out by us to produce IMD 2015 scores for each of the city's 39 neighbourhoods. A report is available on our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)website

For further general information, please visit the English indices of deprivation 2015 website

16)   NHS Digital website

NHS Digital has responsibility for collecting and publishing data and information from across the health and social care system in England. The NHS Digital website provides access to a wide range of health and social care information such as hospital care, public health, social care, and primary care. The indicator portal allows users to:

  • Browse indicators at different geographical levels
  • Benchmark against the regional or England average

Data from the website is used by the team to support local JSNA processes and inform the commissioning of local services.

Further general information can be found on the NHS Digital Data and Information website

Learning events

In order to explore the possibilities of using these data sources and to gain an overview of the information, two learning events have been arranged. One took place in May (view slides from workshop) and the other is due to take place in November.

The workshops will be delivered by members of the Public Health Team and will provide an opportunity to hear more detail about the sources and their potential uses.