The NHS Atlas series is pivotal in the interrogation of routinely available data that relate investment, activity and outcome to the whole population in need and not just those who happen to make contact with a particular service. Only by taking this population perspective can we trigger the search for unwarranted variation and assess the value of the healthcare provided both to populations and to individuals. As such, we consider the NHS Atlas series as an important set of publications that has received a positive response from clinicians, commissioners and managers alike. In many localities across England, the NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare has been used as a stimulus to start a search for unwarranted variation, and as a springboard to releasing resources for re-investment in higher-value healthcare for local patients and populations.
The first NHS Atlas of Variation was published in November 2010 and was widely welcomed by the NHS and other stakeholders. That first Atlas has been followed by a further “compendium” Atlas and a series of themed atlases focusing on specific conditions or populations in more depth, and now a further compendium atlas.
In selecting which maps to include, the intention was to provide a selection across a range of specialties. We have consulted with the National Clinical Directors (NCDs), and various Department of Health teams, and also with some Public Health teams to identify examples that they feel highlight unexpected levels of variation within their area of expertise.
The Atlas of Variation 2015
The 2015 Atlas is available as a downloadable PDF and as an online interactive version. We regret that printed copies are not available.
All previous Atlases are still available for download and in printed form – see the links below.
The Atlases are available as downloadable PDFs and you can order printed copies (while stocks last)
All Atlases are also available as fully interactive online maps using InstantAtlas© GIS software