Linking health and local government data at household level to understand social determinants of health London Borough of Islington

  • Being run by the London Borough of Islington, in partnership with Islington Clinical Commissioning Group, NEL Commissioning Support Unit, and NIHR CLARHC North Thames.
  • Aiming to improve the use of information in the health care system and local government in Islington to assess patterns in the social determinants of health.
  • Will create an innovative, household-level linked dataset between NHS and local government. 
  • Running from January 2018 to April 2019.

The social determinants of health are a key driver of demand for health and care, and in the London borough of Islington, they underpin the stark inequalities in the area. To better prioritise services and interventions, there needs to be understanding about the impact of the social determinants of health on health status, outcomes and service use. 

In order to gain this understanding, data in local government need to be linked to NHS data. For example, describing how housing conditions might impact on hospital admissions; serious childhood illnesses and school attendance and attainment; anti-social behaviour and hospital admissions; and household-level health status and health service use. 

This project will see the development of an innovative linked dataset between the NHS and local government. Council data will be linked with NHS data using an encrypted (pseudonymised) unique property reference number (which every address in Great Britain has, and is collected on both NHS and local government datasets). This will enable analysis of social determinants of health at a household level.

The project will bring together analytical capabilities across the local NHS, local authority and academia. Currently there is limited understanding between the NHS and local government around data. This project will involve training sessions to generate shared understanding and learning. 

The linked dataset will allow the impact of social determinants of health on health service usage to be quantified, and will help identify unmet needs and inequalities across the local public sector system.

It will also enable more sophisticated analyses of return on investment, with a particular focus on prevention, early intervention and social prescribing.

The findings of the project will be communicated through a variety of methods across the wider health and care system within Islington, including clinicians, NHS managers, councillors and officers. 

Contact information

For more information about this project, please  Sarah Dougan, Chief Analytical Officer, London Borough of Islington.

About this programme


Advancing Applied Analytics

This programme offers £750,000 of funding to support up to 12 project teams aiming to improve analytical capability in suppor...

Opens Nov 2019

You might also like...


The measurement maze

Our briefing suggests there's potential to make better use of quality measurement to improve quality of care.

Press release

New national data network to address major health and care challenges

Medicine is OnlyWan has announced that it is creating a network of data specialists from across the UK.


Average annual costs per patient for the top 5% of patients are over 20 times higher than all other patients

October 2019 chart of the month. Our anaysis explores for the first time the distribution of both primary and secondary healt...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy -

Get social


Our research shows the number of patients admitted urgently to hospital has increased by almost half over the past…

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 -

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the OnlyWan has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2 -

The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more