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Public health intelligence

We need to use the best available health intelligence to be able to deliver public health functions. Public health intelligence supports the delivery of public health practice by providing data, information and evidence from a diverse number of sources. This includes data regarding numbers of births and deaths, hospital admission figures, public health service outcome figures and national and local surveys. The work contributes to joint strategic assessments (JSAs) and the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS).

This function concerns the management of knowledge needed to inform action including: analysis of data and statistics; learning from practical experience and sharing best practice; and implementing new knowledge gathered through research. This uses a wide range of skills, spanning analysis, statistics and epidemiology (the study of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in populations), alongside knowledge management, library and information services, as well as interpretation and evaluation.

Most of the data sets do not contain personal information. When personal information is included in the data sets used by Wiltshire Council’s Public Health team the information is not disclosed unless there is a legal requirement to do so or if you have given consent for the information to be shared with a particular third party. With some datasets it is possible to exclude an individual if they wish to opt out of analysis. If you wish to not take part in analysis that will lead to an improvement in public health outcomes please contact publichealth@wiltshire.gov.uk.

The Wiltshire Intelligence Network has been developed in response to the ever-growing demand for local information, be it for developing local strategies, funding applications or assisting local decision making. The network consists of a number of key organisations in Wiltshire who are involved in the collection and analysis of local data. It is often difficult to know what information exists or who can supply it. The site aims to improve access to information in Wiltshire by providing a 'one-stop shop' for key local data and reports, presented in a consistent format that are easy to understand and use.

There is a health and wellbeing section of the intelligence network, which contains information on:

  • Joint Strategic Assessment: Health and wellbeing chapter
  • Children and young people
  • Adults and older people
  • Public Health Outcomes Framework

These pages contain public health profiles; survey analyses; needs assessments; factsheets and other resources.

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Joint Strategic Assessments (JSAs) support commissioning decisions and the development of strategies and local community plans. Public Health leads on the Joint Strategic Assessment for Wiltshire, a report which identifies key priorities for themes including housing, the economy, health, children and young people and the environment.

Public Health also produces the Joint Strategic Assessment for Health and Wellbeing which describes the current and future health, wellbeing and care needs of the Wiltshire population and the strategic direction of service delivery to help meet those needs.

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Public Health England (previously the Association of Public Health Observatories) publishes health profiles for local authority areas. The profile for Wiltshire presents comparative information for Wiltshire on deprivation, mortality, communities, children and young people’s health, adults’ health and lifestyle, disease and poor health and life expectancy and causes of death. The latest profile and more information is available from the Public Health Profiles section of the Intelligence Network.

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The public health outcomes framework, sets out the desired outcomes for public health and how they will be measured. The framework concentrates on two high-level outcomes

  • increasing healthy life expectancy
  • reducing differences in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy between communities

A set of supporting public health indicators will help focus understanding of progress year by year nationally and locally on the things that matter most to public health.

An interactive data tool containing baseline data is available on the Public Health England website and more information is available from the Wiltshire Intelligence Network PHOF page.


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The Health and Social Care Bill includes a statutory requirement for the Director of Public Health to produce an annual report on the health of the local population, and for the local authority to publish it.

The latest available report can be downloaded from the top of the page or email publichealth@wiltshire.gov.uk or call 0300 0034566 to get a copy.

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Public health data privacy notices

All local authorities have a duty to improve the health of the population they serve.  To help us do this, we use data and information from a range of sources including the Office for National Statistics, NHS Digital, Clinical Commissioning Groups, and hospitals to understand more about the nature and causes of disease and ill health in Wiltshire.

Privacy notice - Mortality Records

This notice provides details of how Wiltshire Council collects and uses information about deaths from the Primary Care Mortality Database.

Personal information about deaths within the Wiltshire Council area is supplied by NHS Digital and contains mortality data provided at the time of registration of death along with additional GP details, geographic information and coroner details where applicable.  Wiltshire Council has a Data Access Agreement with the NHS Digital and data are supplied under section Section 42(4) of the SRSA (2007) as amended by section 287 of the Health and Social Care Act (2012) and Regulation 3 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002.  Information held includes date of birth, date of death, place of death, address of deceased, causes of death, age, sex, GP and practice, occupation and place of birth.

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The Public Health Intelligence Team in Wiltshire Council.

Some of the datasets that are shared with Wiltshire Council contain personal data. Most of the datasets that contain personal data are provided either anonymised or pseudonymised. Anonymisation is the removal of certain personal identifiers in many cases this will include the removal of names, house number and NHS number. Pseudonymisation is the replacement of certain personal identifying fields with codes a simple example would be male and female being coded as 1 and 2.

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This information is used for the purposes of statistical analysis, the monitoring of population health and demographic change in the county, and the planning and commissioning of health services.

This information is used specifically to identify patterns and trends in mortality rates, life expectancy and premature death, highlighting differences between geographic areas, age, sex and other characteristics. Often the data is linked to geographic information including the indices of deprivation dataset to support investigations into inequalities. It is also used to identify differences between areas and inform the planning and targeting of health, care and public health services. This information is used in many products including the Community Area Joint strategic assessment and Health and Wellbeing Joint strategic assessment as well as for the monitoring of seasonal patterns, population projections and the monitoring of trends for particular causes of death.

No personal-identifiable information is published, and numbers and rates in published reports based on counts fewer than five are removed to further protect confidentiality and anonymity.

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Wiltshire Council is bound by a number of information sharing agreements which are drawn up to ensure information is received from and shared with these organisations in a way that complies with relevant legislation.

This information is held securely and will not be disclosed to anyone other than those stated above without your permission, unless there is a legal reason to do so, for example disclosure is necessary to protect a person from suffering significant harm or necessary for crime prevention or detection purposes.

This information is used to ensure that health, social care and public health services are designed to address local health needs and are focused on reducing health inequalities, with specific reference to life expectancy and mortality rates. We also use information from this dataset for work on suicide and accident prevention to identify specific hotspots and risk factors locally.

This dataset will not be disclosed to anyone other than those stated above without permission, unless we have a legal reason to do so, for example disclosure is necessary to protect a person from suffering significant harm or necessary for crime prevention or detection purposes.

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Information is held in a secure database only accessible to analytical staff within the Wiltshire Public Health Intelligence Team. The database is on a secure network protected by AES 256 encryption when remote access is used.

Data will be held be for deaths registered from 1996 onwards consistent with the data access agreement between the NHS Digital, the Office for National Statistics and Wiltshire Council.

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The registration of births and deaths is a legal requirement, and the data are processed by Wiltshire Council through a data access agreement with NHS Digital. You have the right to request a copy of the information we hold about you, can object to the use of your data and can ask to opt-out of any of the datasets. If an objection request is approved this may cause delays or prevent us delivering a service to you. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request but we may need to hold or process information in connection with one or more of the Council’s legal functions. The process for opting out will depend on the specific data is and what programme it relates to.

For more information about how Wiltshire Council will use your Public Health information, contact the Public Health Intelligence team at research@wiltshire.gov.uk or telephone 0300 0034566. To obtain a copy of your personal information, please write to Wiltshire Council, Information Governance Team, County Hall, Trowbridge, Bythesea Road BA14 8JN.

For National information and advice regarding information rights please visit www.ico.org.uk

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For more information about how Wiltshire Council will use your Public Health information, contact the Public Health Intelligence team at research@wiltshire.gov.uk or telephone 0300 0034566. You have the right to request a copy of the information we hold about you. To obtain a copy of your personal information, please write to Wiltshire Council, Information Governance Team, County Hall, Trowbridge, Bythesea Road BA14 8JN.

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Last updated: 11 December 2017 | Last reviewed: 11 December 2017