The UK’s ability to use data to improve health care is to be put under the microscope in an independent review commissioned by the Chief Medical Officer for England and UK Government’s Chief Medical Adviser, Professor Sir Chris Whitty; NHS England’s National Director of Transformation, Dr Timothy Ferris; and the UK’s National Statistician Professor Sir Ian Diamond.

The review, entitled ‘Uniting Health Data in the UK’, will be led by Professor Cathie Sudlow OBE, Chief Scientist at Health Data Research UK (HDR UK), the national institute for health data science. HDR UK works with the NHS and partners across universities, charities, industry and the public in bringing the UK’s health data together to make discoveries that improve people’s lives.

Professor Cathie Sudlow said:

“This is an exciting time to be involved in health data, but we are still a long way from maximising its potential for benefiting patient care and the public’s health. This review provides an opportunity to chart the course for a new era in health data, mapping existing strengths and identifying ways that our approaches could be improved.”

The review will map and assess the flows of health-relevant data across the four nations of the UK, offering an opportunity for policy makers to evaluate how data can be better managed to improve the public’s health, while maintaining privacy and public trust.

Population-level health data has the potential to transform research and public health, and the UK is in a unique position thanks to the NHS and its cradle-to-grave records for a population of over 65 million people.

As part of the review process, Professor Sudlow is inviting people to submit their views on current issues in health data including current infrastructure, hurdles and possible solutions using an online form. Anyone can contribute to this. This will be open until 5pm Friday 30th June 2023.

People can also get in touch by emailing SudlowReview@HDRUK.ac.uk

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