The challenges and opportunities of mental health data sharing in the UK

Tamsin Ford, Karen L. Mansfield*, Sarah Markham, Sally McManus, Ann John, Dermot O'Reilly, Tamsin Newlove-Delgado, Matthew Iveson, Mina Fazel, Jayati Das Munshi, Rina Dutta, Gerry Leavey , Johnny Downs, Tom Foley, Abigail Russell, Aideen Maguire, Graham Moon, Elizabeth J Kirkham, Katie Finning, Ginny RussellAnna Moore, Peter Jones, Sarah Shenow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

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The UK's National Health Service (NHS) generates uniquely rich data that should be rapidly deployed for policy and service improvement, yet researchers report difficulties in accessing these data. Paradoxically, these restrictions are occurring at the same time as the open science movement, which encourages data sharing to improve the rigour, transparency, and replicability of research. We describe the urgency of improvements to data access and propose solutions from a mental health research perspective, although the issues discussed extend to all areas in which analysis and linkage of health data support policy and practice. Actions are needed at every level, from data users and data custodians to government (panel).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e333-e336
Number of pages4
JournalThe Lancet Digital Health
Issue number6
Early online date24 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


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