Consultation on the Health Index (Beta release)

Closed 3 Mar 2021

Opened 3 Dec 2020

Feedback updated 26 May 2021

We asked

In December 2020, ONS released the provisional, or 'beta' version of a new Health Index for England. The release provides an illustrative presentation of what this new statistic could look like and how it could enable new analysis.

Alongside the publication, ONS launched a 12-week consultation asking for feedback on the provisional ‘beta’ version of the Health Index. ONS will use the feedback gained to develop the Health Index into a finalised product.

You said

The consultation received 131 total responses. These consisted of:

  • 46 questionnaire responses from the public
  • 42 questionnaire responses from analysts
  • 8 questionnaire responses from government decision-makers
  • 14 questionnaire responses from other respondents
  • 21 responses via email

Responses were submitted on behalf of individuals and organisations. Some respondents provided feedback based on the views of multiple organisations.

The majority of responses were supportive of both the concept of a Health Index in general, and the ONS’s beta version as a means of achieving that concept.

Many made suggestions for improving the Health Index’s content, methodology and presentation – further detail of which can be found in the consultation response.

We did

ONS will carefully consider the suggestions put forward with its expert advisory group.

Amendments which can be acted upon in the short term will be incorporated into the next version of the Health Index, to be released later in 2021. Others will inform the development the Health Index in the longer term.

Results updated 26 May 2021

The below document captures the full breadth of responses we received in relation to this consultation, as well as our suggested actions resulting from them.



The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is looking for feedback to support the development of a composite Health Index.

The proposal for a Health Index was made in the 2018 annual report of the government’s then Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dame Sally Davies, entitled Health 2040 – Better Health Within Reach. The report stated:

“We need to track progress in improving health and health outcomes, to and beyond 2040 with a new composite Health Index that reflects the multi-faceted determinants of the population’s health and equity in support of ensuring health is recognised and treated as one of our nation’s primary assets. This index should be considered by Government alongside GDP and the Measuring National Well-being programme.”

The idea of the Health Index was to be inclusive in the concept of health, incorporating measurement not only of health outcomes, but also of factors which are known to contribute to health at both individual and collective levels.

Why we are consulting

The ONS has recently released a provisional, or 'beta' version of the Health Index, covering England at upper tier local authority (UTLA) level for the years 2015 to 2018. It provides an illustrative presentation of what a Health Index could look like and how this could enable new analysis.

We have plans to develop this version of the Health Index into a finalised product and are keen to understand which aspects of the Beta version are the most useful, and how it can be improved.

We welcome feedback from anyone with an interest in health and health policy. In particular, we would like feedback from analysts working in government, local government, business and the third sector.

What we are asking

We will be asking questions based on:

  • Whether the index will be useful and how it might be used
  • Which aspects of the 'beta' version ONS should keep when we develop this further, including content, data, and methods used
  • Whether there is anything in the 'beta' version that may not be needed
  • Whether there is anything missing from the 'beta' version that we should consider for inclusion in the final version

Please note that responses can, but do not need to be, detailed. All feedback is invited and appreciated; we value all perspectives.

How to respond

We encourage you to respond online wherever possible. However, responses by email will be also be accepted.

There is more information in the consultation document at the bottom of this page, which you may wish to read before completing your response. The document also includes a list of the consultation questions, should you wish to download and provide your comments by email.

If you are responding by email, please send your response to:


All material relating to this consultation can be provided in braille, large print or audio formats on request. British Sign Language interpreters can also be requested for any supporting events.



  • Anyone from any background


  • Health
  • Population
  • Statistics
  • Data
  • Formal consultations