The NHS is facing extreme pressures this winter leading to delays to patient care and increasing burdens on staff. In a programme led by Health Data Research UK (HDRUK) and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), research lessons and rapid response approaches from the pandemic will be applied to this crisis faced by the NHS. Sixteen research projects are set to investigate pressing issues including the effects of the cost of living, the potential dangers of cold and mouldy homes on children’s health, and patient flow in and out of A&E departments, which is causing severe disruption to ambulance service. The successful projects have been selected based on their potential to affect policy and make findings rapidly using existing health data records and Artificial Intelligence, with results expected in spring. Professor Cathie Sudlow, Chief Scientist of HDR UK was joined by Professor Liz Sapey, A&E doctor and Director of PIONEER – the health data hub, and Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh from the University of Edinburgh, to discuss the projects and how health data has the potential to transform our understanding of NHS pinch-points and alleviate pressures on the service.
Prof Cathie Sudlow, Chief Scientist, HDR UK
Prof Sir Aziz Sheikh, Director of the Usher Institute, and Professor of Primary Care Research & Development, University of Edinburgh
Dr Mary De Silva, Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
Dr Martin Chapman, Lecturer in Health Informatics, Kings College London (KCL)