This film has been produced by publicly funded organizations to help answer questions about how your patient data is used by universities researchers and scientists to save lives
Sharing patient data with universities and researchers has a positive effect on Health and Social Care across the UK
I've been meaning to ask what do people mean when they say patient data?
The NHS sees hundreds of thousands of patients every day and each time data is recorded, stored digitally and used to provide you with care based on your medical history.
But your data can also be reused in medical research.
So who actually does the research?
Universities and researchers are able to bring together information from all over the NHS and other sources too and use it to create a better overall picture of health. Often research done by universities involves NHS doctors. They provide the medical expertise but work with academics and researchers to help them design meaningful studies and analyse extremely large amounts of data.
Why do they need to use my data?
Because everyone is different, looking at individual patients makes it very difficult to know why some people get sick while others don't; but when we look at the information from everyone in a city or even a country patterns emerge that can help us understand what's going on.
It isn't new - for decades patient data has been used to discover big health improvements that wouldn't be possible otherwise. For example understanding that cycling to work can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, or improving our understanding of how asthma develops in children.
By analyzing the ways that health services are used, researchers are using data to create modern and efficient services, that are a better fit for the people that use them - making sure that all patients get the right treatment in the right place at the right time.
Who is my data being shared with? Is it safe?
Researchers accessing patient data need relevant training, qualifications and security authorizations. They must prove that the data will be handled in the safest and securest way possible and only ever used to improve human health.
Before University researchers can access patient data name date of birth and address are removed. Researchers are only ever given the minimum amount of information they need to do their work.
The good news is patient data is already safely and securely used by UK universities to inform health care policy create new treatments and extend the lives of mothers fathers friends and children all over the UK.
If you want to know more about your patient data search the #DataSavesLives