Visualising health data unlocks a range of opportunities

Filed in: General News

June 15, 2017

Mapping health related data alongside P2 People & Places (geodemographic classification) provides valuable and actionable insight that enhances a range of processes such as:

  • Marketing awareness campaigns
  • Identifying locations for clinics
  • Aligning resources effectively such as budget, staff and facilities
  • Academic research

Professor Allan Brimicombe, Head of The Centre for Geo-Information Studies at the University of East London, has used P2 People & Places to better understand GP prescription data for a recent article.University of East London logo

The article, a first of its kind, maps the prescription of medication used to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses in England.

“The purpose of the maps is to explore geographical variation across England. This visualisation of psychosis prescribing has not been achieved before, so seeing the geographical variation is in itself a potential eye-opener. In doing so, new questions can be asked both of the data, practice, and policy that are focused on explaining and where desirable, reducing these geographical variations.” Professor Allan Brimicombe

GP prescription data contains approximately 10 million records per month. Professor Brimicombe looked at a complete year’s records and filtered it to show only prescriptions of drugs used to treat Schizophrenia and other related illnesses. The data is then aggregated up to local authority level (York for example).

Professor Brimicombe then used Beacon Dodsworth’s P2 People & Places geodemographic analysis on the records to determine the most predominant P2 classification type. In order these were N, L and K . The classification with the least association was C.Map of GP prescription data issued in England

The P2 data provides descriptions about different types of people and adds insight when combined with the GP prescription data.

Professor Brimicombe has been collecting GP prescription data since 2011, which has enabled him to map the change over a 5-year period. The national average rate of prescriptions for schizophrenia and related illnesses has increased by 3%.

Working with the University of East London

The University of East London signed a 5-year deal with Beacon Dodsworth in August 2016 giving Professors, staff and students use of the P2 People and Places data.

The work of Allan Brimicombe, his students, and colleagues is not limited to understanding GP prescription data. Professor Brimicombe is also working on several other projects, one of which is understanding the connections between Neighbourhood Watch and P2 classification types. This can then be used to plan new neighbourhood watch schemes which target the right demographic and would hopefully lead to reduced crime and subsequently, less spending of police time and money.

To learn more about Beacon Dodsworth’s P2 People and Places, visit our website.

If you’d like to read Professor Brimicombe’s article – A Note on Maps of GP Prescribing for Schizophrenia and similar Psychotic Illnesses in England click here.

If you’d like to read the news article, created and edited by the BBC on Professor Brimicombe’s work, please click here.


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