Letters Care.data

The Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage Study shows the value of national datasets and that data can be securely linked

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g2389 (Published 03 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2389
  1. Raj Bhopal, professor of public health1,
  2. Aziz Sheikh, professor of primary care research and development1
  3. On behalf of the Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage Study Researchers
  1. 1Ethnicity and Health Research Group, Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK
  1. raj.bhopal{at}ed.ac.uk

NHS England’s Care Data programme poses challenges that need careful appraisal.1 Linkage of census, hospital, and primary care data in the Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage study (SHELS) has provided insights,2 particularly as census linkage comprises an extra important step.

We studied ethnic variations in disease risk and outcomes across Scotland. Because individual consent from patients was impractical, approval bodies and …

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