The business of care: how The NHS Business Services Authority is improving health outcomes for people in care homes

2 minute read
The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is a catalyst for better health. Using OS data and expertise, they’ve created the first ever prescription form-level analysis of care home prescribing, highlighting trends underpinned by figures.

Originally, the NHSBSA didn’t have the means to identify care home prescribing in their prescription data. They knew that older care home patients have poor health outcomes, but needed more insight to address this key gap in knowledge.

It was important they could share insight into prescribing patterns with other NHS organisations – with the potential to optimise medicine management, improve the quality of care and patient safety, and reduce cost and waste.

With OS data and expertise, they’re now able to gain and share valuable information across the NHS, to help improve the management of medicines in care homes.


OS expertise and services were accessed under the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), via the OS Data Hub.

Based on experimental data linkage work, primary care prescription address data was linked to care home addresses in AddressBase Plus and Care Quality Commission (CQC) data, creating a prescribing dataset that can be explored by age, sex, and geography. Throughout the project the NHSBSA made sure data was protected, secure, and adhered to the Caldicott Guardian principles.

This allows demographics and prescribing needs for care home patients receiving prescriptions to be better understood across the NHS. The findings confirmed that care home patients tend to receive more prescribing compared to other NHS patients, including for a wider range of medicines and pain relief.

"Without access to Ordnance Survey AddressBase products, we wouldn’t have been able to conduct our matching process. The building classification within AddressBase, which includes care homes, proved to be extremely useful for our use case. As these building classifications become more granular and robust, more future potential analyses may be possible."

Adnan Shroufi, Data Scientist, NHS Business Services Authority

The NHSBSA are now able to share valuable insights across the NHS to inform the use and management of medicines in care homes, helping to improve health outcomes, the quality of care, and ensure the best value.

The Public Sector Geospatial Agreement

Ordnance Survey and the Geospatial Commission

The Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) is a contract between Ordnance Survey and the Geospatial Commission, on behalf of the public sector in England, Wales, and Scotland. It's the route for public sector member organisations to access, use and share our ever-evolving location data.

By Newsroom team

Products and solutions featured in this blog

  • AddressBase

    AddressBase matches 29 million Royal Mail postal address to unique property reference numbers, bringing a new dimension to the matched records.