Longer-term service planning and local investment requires a different approach to assessing needAnyone who is involved in service planning and local investment allocations will be familiar with the current methodology for assessing need, often using a weighted population methodology based on national standardisation for age and deprivation.
 
This approach has been criticised by some who argue there is not enough weight given to age. In addition, it assumes age and deprivation are equal for all conditions. This can result in an over or understatement of actual need - in particular when making geographic comparison.
 
Another approach is to use three-dimensional modelling which can then be applied to individual conditions. You can find out how we have done this for asthma here in our latest Insight Report.

Applying three-dimensional modelling more accurately determines the true index of local need for CCG populations which varies significantly for specific individual conditions. Even though it may be appropriate, as an overall average for allocating resources, we would suggest the unified weighted population metric is not the best way to measure need, or for CCGs to use as the basis for spending on a specific condition.
 
By running this type of analysis for every condition and then aggregating the results CCGs would be able to better assess need and the appropriate local investment level to address this. If the national intention is to now set allocations for several future years, the need to adopt this approach and use this type of analysis on a regular basis is even more important.
 
By Paul Fitzsimmons, Sales and Marketing Director, CHKS
Anyone who is involved in service planning and local investment allocations will be familiar with the current methodology for assessing need, often using a weighted population methodology based on national standardisation for age and deprivation.
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