Data Sharing and Health: is the public engaged?

In partnership with five Healthwatch organisations across the East of England, the University of Cambridge is running a project to explore what people think of the drive to bring different types of health data together to inform care, public health and research.

At present, much of the data relating to people’s health is held separately in different organisations. Joining up data has the potential to:

  • Directly benefit patient care, meaning that patients do not constantly have to retell the same information to different care providers.
  • Linked data can also provide a complete picture of the health of a community, which could help improve provision of health and social care services.
  • In addition, linked data can provide a rich source of information for public health research.

But before joined-up datasets can be developed, people need to be confident that any information that they share is held securely and used appropriately. This project is about engaging the public in a few East of England communities to discuss the following:

  • What kind of “data” we are talking about
  • How joined-up data can be used to improve health
  • Who can share and who can use your data
  • What are your expectations and concerns about joined-up data

The project team is organising a series of conversations where you can have your say. You can join an online group discussion organised by Healthwatch Suffolk on the 30th November at 10:30. The group discussion will last for around two hours and will include a short break. You can join the meeting by following the link below:

If it is more convenient, you can also organise to be interviewed by the project lead at the University of Cambridge. Interviews will last between 30 minutes to an hour and are scheduled to take place between the 23rd November and 10th December. To arrange an interview, contact Louise:

Participants in either the discussion group or the interviews will receive a £15 Love2Shop voucher, redeemable at a wide range of retailers.