Published: 17/11/2005 Volume 115 No. 5982 Page 13

The newly-formed Health and Social Care Information Centre has struck a deal with Ordnance Survey to supply the NHS with key information in a bid to stop the company from taking NHS organisations to court for illegal use of its maps.

The deal, signed last week, will mean the NHS can use the company's demographic and geographical products to plan future services.

Chief executive of the centre Denise Lievesley, visiting professor of statistics at Durham and City universities, said that the deal would eliminate 'illegal use' by the NHS of Ordnance Survey products.

Professor Lievesley told HSJ that the company was 'about to carry out a major exercise taking bits of the NHS to court for unauthorised use; we have saved a lot of angst'.

'We have purchased a whole series of data products and data services in order to support strategic decisions such as in health inequalities and targeting services'.

NHS organisations will be able to use the company's services to map small-scale regional areas down to street level and use the information to gather information about hard-to-reach areas and population groups.

www. ic. nhs. uk/