UCL Institute of Health Informatics


IHI Staff Sign Open Letter to Reduce Barrier to Data Access for Research in the Public Interest

6 July 2020

Prof Harry Hemingway and many other colleagues have subscribed an open letter to the ICO, CMOs and UK data providers to highlight the barriers to data access and how these impede and hinder research in the public interest.

COVID-19 has highlighted the fundamental limitations of existing systems, and has sparked innovation for supporting data access.


This letter, which will be published in the British Journal of Medicine, has been authored by Dr Francesca Cavallaro (UCL), Prof Michael Robling (Cardiff University), Dr Fiona Lugg-Widger (Cardiff University), Dr Rebecca Cannings-John (Cardiff University), Dr Robert Aldridge (University College London), Prof Ruth Gilbert (University College London), Dr Katie Harron (University College London) and subscribed by 374 researchers and leading academics in the field of Health Data Science and Analytics.

They make the following recommendations:

  1. Reduce costs of administrative data access to researchers
  2. Simplify approval processes for de-identified data access
  3. Reduce data release delays
  4. Enable more efficient data use

BMJ Opinion Website