National Institute for Health Research Health Informatics Collaborative 

UCLH is one of five NHS trusts which formed the National Institute for Health Research Health Informatics Collaborative (HIC) to share routinely collected clinical data so researchers can find ways of improving patient treatment and care.

NHS trusts collect vast amounts of clinical information in different settings. But this information is often held in different formats, making it difficult to compare data.

Now the HIC is developing ways of bringing these large amounts of data together in one secure environment. This means that healthcare researchers will be able to study data from a much larger and diverse group of patients, across clinical settings and healthcare organisations.

Professor Bryan Williams, Research Director at UCLH and Director of the NIHR UCLH/UCL Biomedical Research Centre said: “By sharing data in a protected way across organisations, we have an unrivalled opportunity to do world-class research and also learn more about the factors that drive improvements in patient outcomes.”

UCLH is leading on the development of standards for the sharing of intensive care data, with the aim of enabling researchers to find out what happens to patients when they leave intensive care. This data is stored in what is called a ‘safe haven’ at UCL. Collection of data is subject to strict regulations and ethical approvals. Information is automatically collected unless a patient requests otherwise and is ‘pseudonymised’ by replacing indentifiable information with more artificial identifiers.

Watch the film below explaining how it works:

The collaborative was set up to deliver high quality data in five areas: acute coronary syndromes, ovarian cancer, hepatitis, renal transplantation and intensive care. Participating trusts are: UCLH, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.