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NHS Trust Peer Finder Tool

A tool to identify an NHS trust's most comparable peers to assist with benchmarking analysis.


The NHS Digital Innovative Uses of Data service has worked with NHS Improvement to develop the NHS Trust Peer-Finder Tool. The purpose of this tool is to identify an NHS Trust's closest ten peers based on a list of proposed variables such as attendances, deprivation, patient profile and location profile.

The ten proposed peers are those with the smallest Euclidean distance to the selected Trust, based upon standardised values of the variables. These variables can be weighted to give emphasis or even remove them from the calculations. 

We greatly welcome any feedback. If you would like to get in touch with us, the Innovative Uses of Data team’s email address is

Trust Downloadpeer finder tool

Previously, in March 2019, two versions of the same tool were published using MS Excel and have now been merged into one that can be accessed directly here:

The above format includes the full set of variables and gives a default weighting to exclude (weight of zero) few of them that present exceptionally high degrees of correlation. The results from the analysis to determine this were tested by NHS Improvement using a Principal Component Analysis who agreed that any remaining correlation was now negligible.

Information and Guidance

How to use the tool

To view a Trust's closest peers using the Peer Finder Tool:

The advanced version of the tool is based upon the same methodology as the basic version with a larger set of variables, and with the functionality to add weighting to these variables.

  1. Select the Trust you wish to find peers for in the drop-down box at the top.

The ten listed Trusts below are ranked in order of distance, with the closest match at the top. The data used to calculate the distances is shown next to the Trust and can also be downloaded from Appendix A.

The Trust and their peers will also be shown on the map on the right side.

  1. To modify the weight (level of importance) each variable has on the calculation of the distances, click on the blue ribbon on the left and set a value between 0 and 1. A value of 0 will remove the variable from the calculation. Changing a value in the weightings section will update the list of recommended peers automatically. To close the weightings panel, click on the left arrow at the top.
  2. Optionally, use the organisation type filter to view the closest peers of a specific type of Trust. For example, if you select a Mental Health Trust and wish to see only Mental Health Trust peers use the filter to specify this organisation type.

Methodology and details

The data used, disclosure control methods, methodology and the definition of the variables can be found on the second page (Info) of the Trust Peer Finder Tool.

Appendix A

The data used to calculate the distances between Trusts and a table that shows the top ten peers for each Trust can be accessed here: Appendix A. This file also includes the list of variables, data source and default weightings.


Please note that this page has been updated on July 2019 with the following changes:

  • The Peer Finder excel file has been replaced by a Power BI report.
  • The July 2019 release does not include a change in methodology with respect to the previous one (March 2019).
  • The ‘FTE staff’ column in the March 2019 update erroneously displayed ‘Proportion of student staff’ instead of the actual number of FTE staff. The impact of this is very low as it is one of the excluded variables in the default calculation but for users who have applied a different weight to this variable a minor difference in peers may be observed. This has been corrected to display the actual number of FTE staff in the ‘FTE Staff’ variable.
  • Peers calculated using the default weights are available for download (include file name). The raw data used for the calculation is also available in this file, if users wish to recalculate the peers with different weights.
Last edited: 5 August 2019 2:45 pm