Getting linked: for better health

headlinesis a research network who's purpose is to optimise the secondary use of health data in research and link datasets within and out with the NHS to improve healthcare.

Overview

Health and Data Linkage in North East Scotland (HEADLINES) is a research network that brings together researchers from the University of Aberdeen, NHS Grampian and Robert Gordon's University.

Our purpose

Our aim is to optimise the secondary use of electronic health data for research by bringing together experience, sharing resources, and by supporting collaborative working, education and training, and best practice in governance.

As well as regular communication via the email distribution list, we also host regular events for our members to meet and share information and promote collaboration in health informatics research.

Background

HEADLINES was formed in November 2011 after the Principal, Professor Diamond, identified "Pathways to a Healthy Life" as a major strategic research theme for the University of Aberdeen.

Common to the areas of research in which the IAHS was already contributing to this theme, we identified health informatics research, or the use of national and local data sources and their linkage, as a powerful means of understanding the factors which influence health and disease over the course of life.

Who are We?

The diagram below aims to summarise who we are.

HEADLINES diagram

Membership

HEADLINES is open to anyone involved with or interested in the use of national and local data sources and their linkage for research. As well as frequent communication via the email distribution list, we also host regular meetings and workshops for our members to share information and promote collaboration in health informatics research.

Agenda's and presentations from the workshops below are available to members via Sharepoint.

To become a member email p.rebecca@abdn.ac.uk.

Members

Further Useful Information

Public Attitudes to the Use of Personal Data in Research: A Wellcome Trust Report

The most in-depth research ever into what the public think about patient records being used by commercial organisations has revealed that the majority are in favour as long as there is a clear public benefit and appropriate safeguards are in place.

 The Wellcome Trust commissioned Ipsos MORI to carry out a major piece of social science research, including workshops with over 200 people and a survey of 2000 people. The research, published today, aims to inform a review that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has asked Dame Fiona Caldicott, the National Data Guardian, to conduct.

The findings of the Caldicott Review, which are expected imminently, will provide advice on the wording for a new model of consents and opt-outs, to enable patients to make an informed decision about how identifiable information in their health records is used.

Penetration Security Testing

Grampian Data Safe Haven (DaSH), our secure research facility for handling health, administrative and research data successfully underwent specialist internal and external Penetration Security Testing in May. The testers reported that, “The security posture from inside the Safehaven network is very strong”.  One “medium risk” relating to software development facilities in the safe haven has been removed. Mr Brian Henderson, Director of IT Services, said, 'I am delighted with the testing report. This reflects a lot of hard work by the IT Services team.' DaSH currently supports 30+ research teams analysing their data in the secure 'virtual' research facility.