Six months on from its launch, Health Data Research UK’s (HDR UK) National Core Studies Data & Connectivity programme has proven to be a crucial component of the UK’s COVID-19 response. In a recent letter from HDR UK Director, Andrew Morris, and CEO, Caroline Cake, Swansea University’s SAIL Databank was thanked for its important contribution to an impactful first six months of the programme.
What are the National Core Studies?
The Data & Connectivity programme works to make vital data available to accelerate research and is led by HDR UK in partnership with the Office for National Statistics. Established to tackle the challenges of COVID-19, the Data & Connectivity arm is one of six study areas, collectively known as National Core Studies. Other study arms also include Longitudinal Health & Wellbeing, Transmission & Environment, Surveillance & Epidemiology, Immunity and Clinical Trials.
How is SAIL Databank involved the studies?
Within the Data & Connectivity arm, SAIL Databank works with four other partners to deliver secure access to a variety of health and administrative data via Trusted Research Environments (TRE’s) across the four UK nations. Alongside SAIL Databank, The Data & Connectivity partnership consists of the Office for National Statistics’ Secure Research Service, NHS Digital’s Data Processing Service, Scotland’s National Data Safe Haven and Northern Ireland’s Honest Broker Service.
How is this work supporting COVID-19 research efforts?
Data and Connectivity brings together key assets of the UK data infrastructure by working in partnership with stakeholders from across the four UK nations to organise medical, biological, and social science data on an unprecedented scale. Together with its underlying technology infrastructure, SeRP (Secure eResearch Platform), SAIL Databank’s mature and streamlined data systems has significantly increased the datasets available for research at pace and scale, including the latest vaccine datasets, and has supported the federated capabilities of the programme.