News posted 25 January, 2022

MFT joins UK partners to maximise the benefits of health data

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Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) is delighted to join a growing group of like-minded organisations working together to realise the benefits of using health data for research and innovation for public benefit as part of the UK Health Data Research Alliance.

MFT is one of six new data custodians joining the Alliance and will be welcomed at their quarterly board meeting on Wednesday 26 January 2022.

The Alliance is an independent alliance of leading healthcare and research organisations united to establish best practice for the ethical use of UK health data for research at scale. Members come from across the healthcare and research sector, including the NHS, medical research charities, academia, health data research hubs and AI Centres of Excellence.

The Alliance’s work to develop a unified and standardised approach to the use of health data across the UK and increase the range and quality of data that is available is delivering notable benefits for research and innovation, including:

Members listing over 750 datasets for access request via the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway, the UK’s unified platform to discover and request access to health data

Publication of the key paper “Principles and Best Practices for Trusted Research Environments” including a supporting foreword from NHSX – which sets out a common approach for a trustworthy ecosystem of data access for health research

A series of best practice recommendations on how to engage and involve patients and members of the public to improve transparency and demonstrate trustworthiness; based on recommendations from HDR UK’s Public Advisory Board.

By the end of January 2022, the Alliance will publish its recommendations for a consistent standard for Data Use Registers; and launching the service that puts these principles into practice, allowing Alliance members to host and manage their Data Use Registers via the Innovation Gateway.

David Seymour, Alliance Executive Director, Health Data Research UK:

“We are delighted to welcome our latest Alliance members that come from the NHS, academia and national public bodies. By pooling and sharing our expertise, we are developing a much-needed unified approach to the key aspects of health data research.

“We look forward to working together to make 2022 another year of progress for the sector, supporting research and innovation by making health data available in a consistent, efficient, secure and trustworthy way”.

MFT is the largest NHS trust in England and a leading provider of specialist healthcare services. Its ten hospitals are home to hundreds of world class clinicians, researchers, and academic staff, committed to finding patients the best care and treatments. MFT’s vast data assets including patient records, imaging, and diagnostic modalities, across a wide range of clinical specialities.

Professor Jane Eddleston, Group Joint Medical Director at MFT said:

“Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust is delighted to become a member of the Health Data Research Alliance, allowing us to work with member colleagues to share best practice and learning, and fully realise the value of the data we hold to improve treatments, experiences, and outcomes for our communities.”

The UK Health Data Research Alliance is working together to develop a trustworthy approach to the use of health data for research, including developing consistent standards, tools, and technologies to enhance the ability for researchers to be able to discover, access and analyse data securely. They will also provide confidence and transparency in how healthcare data is used, thereby building helping to demonstrate trustworthiness to patients and the public.