Government publishes the Goldacre Review into the use of health data
The government recently (07 April 2022) published the Goldacre Review into how to improve safety and security in the use of health data for research and analysis.
After stressing the untapped power and potential of NHS data, accumulated for tens of millions of patients over 73 years, the report begins by setting out the strategic and technical blockers behind the government’s ambition to deliver better, broader, and safer use of NHS data for analysis and research.
One of the primary blockers is the current system of small, disjointed data projects that result in increased costs, duplication, and risk. In their place, it proposes a greater focus on well-designed platforms that enable people to curate, manage, clean, reshape and prepare raw data whilst ensuring public trust through security and transparency.
“For less than the cost of digitising one hospital the system can have the secure data platforms and workforce needed to realise the full value of NHS data, driving research, health service improvement, and innovation.”
Beyond platforms and security, other recommendations concern open working methods, data curation and knowledge management, NHS data analysts, governance, and approaches and strategy. Many of these involve the use of ‘Trusted Research Environments’ (secure analytics platforms) and are underpinned by a renewed emphasis on open data, common standards, cross-boundaries collaboration, and adequate funding and training for the workforce.
The government’s response to the report is due to be published in its upcoming health and social care data strategy, the draft of which can be found here.
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Rory Daniels, techUK’s Programme Manager for Social Care, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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