Major health informatics programme announced

Our BRC is part of a new health informatics programme announced this week to enable the collaborative sharing of routinely collected NHS data to facilitate more effective clinical research.

This programme is called the National Institute for Health Research Health Informatics Collaboration (HIC) and five trusts with large Biomedical Research Centres are working together to make NHS clinical data more readily available and accessible to researchers, industry and the NHS community.

The five participating NHS trusts are: UCLH, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Guys & St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

For UCLH this initiative will deliver IT capability to support the sharing and use of NHS data for research. Five scientific themes have been identified across participating sites: viral hepatology, acute coronary syndrome, ovarian cancer, renal transplantation and critical care, which UCLH will lead on.

The HIC’s main objectives are to develop, design and provide common infrastructure, standards and services, which will allow research users to fully exploit care data for research benefit. 

This new initiative was announced by Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies at the ‘360 Degrees of Health Data: Harnessing Big Data for Better Health’ conference. It follows the governments ‘Plan for Growth’ which details a number of actions designed to promote the UK as a competitive global hub for life sciences.

It is anticipated the new informatics infrastructure will go live in September 2014.