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UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

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The data

What data is used in the ECHILD project?

For this project, we are working with the Department for Education and NHS Digital to create the ECHILD Database. This new database will bring together information about health, education and social care for all children in England for the first time.

Nurse and child in hospital

The ECHILD Database links electronic records that are already collected by the Department for Education and NHS Digital from the National Pupil Database (NPD) and Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES). NPD and HES are based on information collected from hospitals and schools; for example, NPD has information about absences and HES has information about A&E attendances. Joining this information together will help us understand how children’s education affects their health, and how health affects their education.

Find out more about the data in the ECHILD Database, and where it comes from.

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Find out more about how using linked data for research can benefit us all.

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Download the ECHILD Database User Guide.

The ECHILD User Guide, which aims to introduce researchers to the database by providing a broad overview of its coverage, content and creation, is free to download here:

 PDF iconThe Education and Child Health Insights from Linked Data (ECHILD) Database - An Introductory Guide for Researchers - v1.1.0 March 2021

Can researchers look in ECHILD Database and find my records?

No - the ECHILD Database is “de-identified” which means it doesn’t contain any information that identifies a person. For example, it doesn’t include names, addresses, dates of birth, pupil numbers or NHS numbers. 

How is the ECHILD Database being kept safe?

Image of family cycling

Keeping the data we use for research safe and secure is a priority for us. One way we do this is by storing and accessing the ECHILD Database in the Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service (ONS SRS). The ONS SRS is a secure system that does not allow researchers to copy or remove data. This means that researchers do not have any data on their own computers. All of our results from the ECHILD project (like tables or graphs) are also stored in the ONS SRS. Before we can use them (for example, in a report), they are checked by an independent team at ONS to make sure that they are safe.

Only a small number of researchers working on the ECHILD project have access to the data. All of these researchers have been accredited and trained on how to handle data safely and ethically. We are also only allowed to use the ECHILD Database to answer questions that will benefit the public which were agreed at the beginning of the project.

Find out more about how the ECHILD Database is kept safe.

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Find out more about this study’s research, how we collect, manage and use data and what to do if you (or your child) do not wish for your data to be included in research studies.

Please find more information within the project’s privacy notice