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The map below shows the prescribing incidence across England (2012) for the newly formed Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), now responsible for local prescribing & health services within each region of the UK.

Is there is a pattern to prescribing across the country, or across the year?

Click on any of the CCG’s to bring up more detail pertinent to that group – including a measure of local socio-economic deprivation linked to the GP practice or prescribing centre within the CCG.

Does the data support the natural assumption that a higher level of deprivation would be linked to higher prescribing?

We’ve produced this dashboard to show how blending different data-sets within tools like Tableau will provide more involved insights, and can thus support strategic decision making. To that end we’ve collated, cleaned & categorised various data-sets so you can easily blend them with your own data to gain actionable insights.

Data sets available now: all prescribing within England for 2012 (every drug, medical device or product – and every preparation), 2011 census data & the Index of Multiple Deprivation. More to be added soon!

Why not contact us to learn more?

To see a larger version of this visualisation use this link


UPDATE: This dashboard has been expanded on behalf of the Guardian & featured on their website: 12th June 2013. In conjunction with this James Ambler has issued the following statements.

“My hope in putting this analysis together is that it shows the value of public bodies sharing their data with the public, and that the findings can be used to improve public services, not just those of the NHS. Differences in prescribing antibiotics need to be examined further, especially considering the impending problems highlighted by Sally Davies regarding bacterial resistance and what that could mean to healthcare provision in the UK over the coming years.

Whilst I applaud the government for its open data policy, having put this analysis together & worked with other data available under the FOI, I would call for the government, NHS & all public bodies issuing data to improve the conformity of data-sources, improve accessibility & foster greater understanding of what is available. In doing so, public engagement & learning will be improved – whilst ensuring greater accuracy & ease of analysis.

Our analysis shows the regional differences in prescribing; both between North & South, and between the London area & the rest of England. Our intention is not to apportion blame or highlight good/bad practice, rather it is to foster greater understanding & help the different bodies involved. We need to run further analysis to see if it’s possible to determine correlations & predictors, and thus help with healthcare provision – and plan to repeat this exercise with other areas of prescribing, not just antibiotics, and welcome any contributors to this effect.

What is seen here should only be seen as the first step; ideally we would like to examine further the outliers, inconsistencies and external factors to create a robust model. Without further, more detailed, examination it is very difficult to say what might be causing the differences in prescribing. But questions I would like to explore further would include:

  • has the high number of hospitals in the London area impacted prescribing by GPs?
  • could increased waiting times/difficulty booking appointments with GPs be of impact?
  • do areas with lower GP prescribing incidences exhibit higher prescribing by hospital physicians?
  • are there correlations in recorded admissions for bacterial infections, or outbreaks within care centres, with the prescribing seen here amongst the general public?
  • what external factors, such as demographics, could be impacting prescribing?”

Please contact us for further information, or to get involved in further analysis.