NLPG provides the key to understanding UK health trends

March 31, 2009 -- The National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) is enabling National Health Service (NHS) Mid Essex to better understand the needs of the population it serves in order to target resources more effectively and ultimately improve health provision. NHS Mid Essex is one of the first organisations to take advantage of new NLPG licensing opportunities which enables this valuable national address database to be used beyond local government.

The NLPG is run on behalf of local government by the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) with Intelligent Addressing (IA) as the national custodian.

Through partnership working with their Local Authority colleagues, Primary Care Trusts have potential access to data from many different and disparate sources, including their own administrative data, Council Tax, Electoral Registers, GP registers and the list of those entitled to free school meals, to name but a few. Making sense of this diverse but rich source of data is a complex task that can be facilitated by the NLPG, local government’s primary source of address and location intelligence. Matching addresses in one database to the NLPG unlocks their precise geographic locations enabling detailed demographic analysis.

“We have been using local gazetteers (LLPGs) for a number of years in our work for local authorities,” said Gillian Harper from Mayhew Harper Associates a consultancy undertaking this work on behalf of NHS Mid Essex. “Now that the NLPG can be licensed in its entirety we can start to use it beyond local government to provide the linking mechanism for many different data sources. We use our own in house address matching algorithms to do this in order to provide location intelligence. This enables us to provide population estimates and insights on specific PCT related topics such as access to services, risk profiles for people using drug and alcohol services, location of people with learning disabilities and location of residential homes. In other words the result is a more detailed picture of the PCT’s changing demography so that they can better understand and serve their community,” continued Harper.

“The work being done by Mayhew Harper Associates for Mid Essex using the NLPG will provide us will valuable insights into population densities and an improved understanding of whether current access to health services matches actual requirements. Once we have carried out these ‘needs assessments’ we will be in a stronger position to plan our allocation of resources,” said Colin Seward from NHS Mid Essex.

“Through licensing the NLPG a growing number of organisations are starting to use the NLPG to link the disparate information available to them. This enables them to gain a greater understanding of the population to both inform policy making and the targeting of resources,” said Michael Nicholson, Managing Director of Intelligent Addressing. “The NLPG was always meant to be an enabler within local authorities to improve efficiency and service delivery but its value to the nation is actually much greater than this because it means that people can be linked to a place, which in turn means better risk assessment, better allocation of funds and resources, for applications ranging from flood planning to alleviation of social deprivation,” continued Nicholson.

Contact: Gayle Gander, Head of Marketing, Intelligent Addressing, +44(0)207 747 3500
E-mail: Email Contact,

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