Better use of data is vital to NHS recovery – the Goldacre Review is welcome but government must now provide a credible plan Health Foundation response to the Goldacre Review

7 April 2022

Responding to the publication of the Goldacre Review into the use of health data for research and analysis, Charles Tallack, interim Director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said:

‘We very much welcome the publication of the Goldacre Review. In the wake of the pandemic, the NHS faces unprecedented challenges including a huge backlog of care and chronic workforce shortages. Better use of health data can play an important role in supporting the health and care system to recover. It can help improve targeting of services and prevention efforts, enable faster and better testing of treatments and innovations at scale, support the workforce, and improve patient experience and outcomes. This potential can only be realised if we address long-standing barriers – including a fragmented data landscape, an under-utilised analytical workforce, a lack of focus on the right problems and challenges in scaling-up data-driven innovations. And there are risks to consider in terms of safety, exacerbating health inequalities and damaging public trust.

‘The review rightly recognises the need to establish a secure, robust and modern data infrastructure, develop the analytical workforce, and embed collaborative ways of working. All of these are important to enable the better use of health data to support decision-making and improve patient outcomes.  

‘Ultimately the outcomes from this review depend on the government’s response, and we look forward to seeing their plan when the final Data Strategy for Health and Social Care is published. Any commitments need to be backed-up by a credible plan for delivery if they are to help realise the full potential of health data.’

Media contact

Emily Wilson
020 7257 2061

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