News, Policy & Media


Review launched to support new Health Data Strategy

A review has been announced into the use of health data for research and analysis by Government. The rapid review will take place until April 2021 and focusses on the more efficient and safe use of health data for research and analysis for the benefit of patients and the healthcare sector. Government has asked Dr Ben Goldacre to carry out the review and present his findings in two months.

Dr Goldacre is Director of the DataLab, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. He is a doctor, researcher and author who leads various technology projects including which is an open data explorer for NHS primary care prescribing with over 130,000 users a year. His books, including ‘Bad Science’, have sold over 700,000 copies in more than 30 countries. He has also presented various online lectures, which have over 5 million views.

The review will complement the forthcoming Data Strategy for Health and Social Care which will set the direction for the use of data in a post-pandemic healthcare system. Questions to be review by Dr Goldacre address NHS data safety regarding researchers, data monopolies, incentives for practically useful data generation and the delivery of data curation.

“I am delighted [Dr Goldacre] has accepted my invitation to undertake this review. I am looking forward to working with Ben and seeing his recommendations over the coming month”, said Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary. If you would like to get in touch about the review or share your experience of using health data for research, please contact


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