Independent report

Effective health care for vulnerable groups prevented by data gaps

NIHB report: health care needs of the most vulnerable groups in society not being met because of gaps in health information and data gaps.



This report, from the Data and Research Working Group of the National Inclusion Health Board (NIHB):

  • identifies where to find good data and the gaps in information and data where the burdens of ill health and untimely death are greatest for vulnerable groups (vulnerable migrants, gypsies and travellers, homeless people, and sex workers)
  • is for data providers, healthcare professionals, commissioners and others working to improve the health of the vulnerable groups

The report concludes that:

  • it is impossible to obtain a comprehensive picture of the vulnerable groups’ health
  • the health needs of some of the most vulnerable people in society continue to be invisible to health commissioners and the wider health system planners
  • the health needs of the vulnerable groups sometimes place heavy and unpredictable demands on the health service, which may result in multiple avoidable visits to hospital
  • the data gaps prevent effective monitoring of health care use and seriously undermine local efforts  by NHS and local government  to understand and prioritise the local needs of the vulnerable groups
Published 7 March 2014