Table 1

The roles of public health observatories in England and examples of the Northern and Yorkshire Public Health Observatory carrying out these functions:

Further details and downloadable versions of all of the above are available at the Northern and Yorkshire Public Health Observatory web site:
Monitoring health and disease trends and highlighting areas for actionWorking together on coronary heart disease in Northern and Yorkshire8—a focus on the inequalities existing in coronary heart disease, together with recommendations for action.
Identifying gaps in health informationPerinatal and infant health: a scoping study9—this study identifies current information sources and the gaps that exist.
Advising on methods for health and health inequality impact assessment; Occasional paper no 1: An overview of health impact assessment 10
Drawing together information from different sources in new ways to improve healthTowards a healthier north east—this health profile uses housing and employment data alongside health data.11
Occasional paper no 3: Inequalities in child health 12 —this paper proposes using educational attainment as a proxy for health indicators.
Carrying out projects to highlight particular health issues The dental health of five-year-olds in the Northern and Yorkshire Region. 13
Evaluating progress by local agencies in improving health and cutting inequalityBaselines have now been established in the above projects/reports and others on key issues. Trend data will be published in future.
Looking ahead to give early warning of future public health problems.Futures conference—a forum for partners to address likely future public health issues such as the ageing population and genetics.