Establishing an NHS-R community to exploit the power of R for the NHS Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in partnership with Yorkshire & Humber AHSN Improvement Academy and University of Bradford

  • Being run by the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network Improvement Academy, in partnership with the University of Bradford, NHS Improvement, NHS Wales, the Association of Professional Healthcare Analysts, and The Strategy Unit.
  • Aiming to kick-start the use of the ‘R’ statistical and graphics programming language in the NHS in order to improve data analysis and develop shared solutions.
  • Will train NHS analysts to use R and develop an ‘NHS-R Community’ to embed R into the NHS.
  • Running from February 2018 to April 2019.

There is a wealth of data in the NHS that could be used to improve the delivery of health care. However, the lack of a common, easy-to-use software platform is a barrier to the open and transparent sharing of useful data analysis techniques across the NHS. This is where R comes in. 

‘R’ is a programming language and free software environment for statistical computing and graphics, which benefits from a worldwide R community that freely shares learning and resources. Although widely used in academia and by corporations such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook, R is hardly used in the NHS. 

This project aims to kick-start the use of R in the NHS. It will build on an existing collaboration between the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network Improvement Academy, the Association of Professional Healthcare Analysts and the University of Bradford, and extend it to include NHS Improvement and NHS Wales

The project will establish an NHS-R community that supports the learning, application and exploitation of R. NHS analysts will be taught to apply R in their day jobs via four three-day workshops held in two NHS regions (Yorkshire and Humberside, and Wales) over 15 months. 

Workshops will cover understanding and reporting hospital mortality statistics, predicting urgent demand for hospital care and evaluating interventions. They will be developed and delivered by R experts using de-identified or ‘dummy’ data. 

Training materials will be designed for classroom teaching as well as wider dissemination through an NHS-R community website and NHS-R YouTube channel. Project outputs will be promoted via social media, collaborators’ networks and conferences case studies promoting the use of R in the NHS.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Professor Mohammed Amin Mohammed, University of Bradford, Academic Director, Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network Improvement Academy.

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