New innovative data tool is a breath of fresh air for Londoners

A new NHS data tool has the potential to improve experience and outcomes and tackle health inequalities in asthma care for Londoners. LADS (The London Asthma Decision Support Tool) brings together air pollution, demographic and social deprivation data with routinely collected NHS data for the first time ever. Linking data in this way will not only allow clinical teams to intervene much earlier in the patient pathway and improve outcomes, but also focus on identifying and investigating areas of health inequity across the capital.

Every 10 seconds someone has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack and asthma attacks kill three people in the UK every day. In London it is estimated 600,000 people suffer from asthma, including almost a quarter of a million children. Owing to its high levels of air pollution, these figures are some of the worst asthma rates in the country, with research also routinely showing that poorer areas of the Capital have far higher hospital admission rates than more affluent ones. LADS will allow clinical teams from primary and secondary care to identify at risk patients, and proactively review their management plans.

LADS is one of NHS England’s pathfinder projects, commissioned as part of the Data Saves Lives Strategy and implemented as part of the London Health Data Strategy, and was developed with clinicians from across north west and south east London Integrated Care Systems (ICS). Gaining a picture of asthma outcomes across ICS borders means that never-before possible system-level analysis can be performed and fed back to clinicians at a Primary Care Network (PCN) level, so relevant hyper-local interventions can contribute to London-wide improvements in asthma care.

The collaborative approach between NWL and SEL Integrated Care Boards (ICBs), means that 80 PCNs will be able to access data, which will be analysed within NWL’s secure data environment, Discover-NOW. This use of data has been guided by the recommendations gained from the London Health Data Strategy deliberations undertaken by ICHP in 2022 and, as such, is fully supported by citizens.

Dr Sarah Elkin, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Imperial & Co- Clinical Director of the London Respiratory Clinical network said “The true power of this data is that it will allow an understanding of outcomes across a population enabling increased support & intervention to be delivered to areas of need and in a way that supports local delivery approaches. We hope to be able to extend the use of this tool across the whole of London.”

Kavitha Saravanakumar, Associate Director of Business Intelligence NWL ICB said “We know that Londoners want us to use their data to support more proactive and preventative care. LADS is a great example of us taking that recommendation and putting it into practice.

If you would like to learn more about LADS, email