Public health as an academic discipline, and as a form of practice, has used evidence from its very beginning. In the UK the move to developing an evidence-based approach in public health was slower than in clinical medicine. However, taking an evidence-based approach contemporarily has come to mean more than simply using evidence or doing well-conducted scientific studies. The evidence-based approach refers to taking a scientific approach to the accumulation and understanding of the evidence itself. A major impetus in this has been the development of evidence-based medicine. The Health Development Agency was established as a special health authority in 2000, following the publication of that white paper. One of the Agency's core functions was to build the evidence base in public health and health improvement, particularly with regard to the reduction of health inequalities. From 2000 to 2005 the Agency reviewed the evidence on health inequalities and on the effectiveness of public health interventions.