Ben Goldacre to review research use of health data

Written by PublicTechnology Staff on 10 February 2021 in News
News

Head of Oxford University DataLab and ‘Bad Science’ author to report findings in April

Dr Ben Goldacre, an academic, doctor and writer known for his attacks on the misuse of statistics, will undertake a rapid review of the use of health data for research and analysis.

His review, reporting in April, aims to complement the government’s work on a data strategy for health and social care. “Ben has a wealth of experience in working with health data and I am delighted he has accepted my invitation to undertake this review,” said health and social care secretary Matt Hancock. “I am looking forward to working with Ben and seeing his recommendations over the coming months.”

The terms of reference include facilitating access to NHS data while preserving patient privacy; avoiding unhelpful monopolies over data access for analysis; what can be learn from the best work in data science, commercial and open source software development; and how the NHS can analyse and use data routinely to improve quality, safety and efficiency.

“The UK has a phenomenal resource in its raw data, and its people,” said Goldacre, who runs Oxford University’s DataLab and whose books include ‘Bad Science’ and ‘Bad Pharma’. “Our challenge is now in the final lap: we need to find safe, secure, collaborative and efficient ways to turn that raw data into insights and action, to improve patient care for all.”

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