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The Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research

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Film screened at @OfficialNIHR events will highlight importance of patient & public involvement in #healthresearch.
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CPRD & MHRA Independent Scientific Advisory Committee Vacancies

The Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) and the Medicines and Health care products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are currently recruiting for Committee Members to join the CPRD/MHRA Independent Scientific Advisory Committee.
They are particularly interested in hearing from applicants who specialise in the following areas:

• Cancer Epidemiology
• Cardiovascular Research
• Child Health
• Genetic Epidemiology /Precision or Stratified Medicine
• Health Informatics
• Machine Learning
• Pathology (Laboratory testing)
• Pharmacology/Pharmacovigilance
• Psychiatry
• Surgery
• Women’s Health

For full details and to download the information pack, visit:
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Specialist doctors are to join Wales Air Ambulance crews in north Wales for the first time in a bid to treat seriously injured patients faster.

The “flying medics” will be based at Caernarfon Airport, along with a new helicopter and rapid response vehicle.

South and mid-Wales have had the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service Cymru since 2015 and it will launch in the north on Monday.

The health secretary said it would bring critical care closer to people. Vaughan Gething added that enhancing the existing service from Caernarfon would ensure the region had the same emergency cover as the rest of Wales.

The Wales Air Ambulance (WAA) helicopters were originally staffed by paramedics.
But two years ago, emergency department consultants were recruited to be on board.

It meant they were able to give casualties blood transfusions, administer anesthetics, offer strong painkillers and conduct a range of medical procedures not normally performed outside of a hospital – all at the scene of an incident.

Two “flying medics” helicopters are already based at Dafen in Carmarthenshire and in Welshpool, Powys.

Dr. Ami Jones, EMRTS Cymru interim national director, said the new service would improve cover for North Wales, as well as Powys and parts of Ceredigion.
“Wales can pride itself on having established platinum-standard critical care across all of the country, via the WAA’s bases in north, mid and south Wales,” she said.

An independent evaluation by The Farr Institute at Swansea University revealed the Welsh flying medics service has already had a positive impact on critical care in Wales.

To learn what the results indicated, read the full article at BBC News:
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What are the best words to use when talking about data?
Understanding Patient Data explain here:
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As it’s Book Lovers’ Day, we’ve asked some of our researchers about their published books. Find out about them here: #BookLoversDay
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North-South Health Divide Bigger than Ever with Alarming Rise in Deaths of Northern 25-44 Year Olds

Dying early (under age 75) is 20% more likely in northern compared with southern England according to research led by The University of Manchester:

- 1.2 million more early deaths in the North from 1965 to 2015

The study uncovers a North-South divide in deaths among middle aged adults, which has been rising since the mid-90s and is now at alarming levels:

- 49% more deaths among 35-44 year olds in the North in 2015
- 29% more deaths among 25-34 year olds in the North in 2015

The team shows that a sharp increase in premature deaths among middle aged adults in the North first emerged in the mid-90s, increasingly quickly but consistently until the end of the study period in 2015.

The study used data from the Office of National Statistics on the whole English population from 1965 to 2015. It was supported by the Health eResearch Centre at The University of Manchester which is part of The Farr Institute and funded through a consortium of ten partners led by the Medical Research Council.

Published yesterday in the BMJ’s Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, the news raises questions over the effectiveness of government policies and billions of pounds of public investment designed to tackle the problem...

Read the full article here:
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The Farr Institute’s Statement Regarding the Government’s Response to the National Data Guardian Review.

The Farr Institute’s work in ethics and governance addresses the legislative and regulatory frameworks around the use of ‘big data’ for research (primarily information governance, research governance and research ethics) and measures to ensure compliance in these areas.

Regarding the Government’s recent response to Dame Fiona Caldicott’s review on cyber security and data, The Farr Institute’s Innovative Governance Working Group state:

“The Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research welcomes the Government’s response to the National Data Guardian for Health and Care’s Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs.

“The UK health data science and research industry is heavily reliant on not just the availability of reliable, complete data and robust data flows, but most importantly the trust and support of those about whom the data is collected and for whom the research is being undertaken. By embracing the cybersecurity and trust challenges, we can maintain excellence in realising societal benefit from the wealth of health and social care data and the talent and expertise of our data science community.

“The National Data Guardian’s review and the Care Quality Commission’s review of Safe Data, Safe Care brought unprecedented scrutiny on the security of handling sensitive health related data, shedding light on challenges to good, secure practice. They drew attention to a culture that did not share good practice and expertise born of experience, and the need for that to change. The reviews further highlighted the importance of public trust in the reuse of data that has been collected about their care, sustaining that the significance of good security practice is vital in demonstrating trustworthiness.

“It is very encouraging indeed that the Government’s response has chosen to meet the challenges that the reviews laid before the health care data community, as well as those raised by the cyber threats that recently became all too apparent. The response recognises the need to support people working with sensitive data in the health and research sectors with not only the training and education they would welcome, but also the empowerment to evolve the professional culture towards one that fully embraces the digital age and cybersecurity, meeting this with a commitment to fund the resources essential for achieving that change.”

To find out more about The Farr Institute’s work in this area, visit the ethics and governance section of our website:
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Our Farr Scotland and IHDP Scotland colleagues have shows about using data in research at the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival which starts this week.

Find out more at
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New Institute Health Data Research UK Seeks First Research Partners

Health Data Research UK (HDR UK), the UK’s new health and biomedical data science research institute, has today launched a funding call to attract research partners. Between five and seven substantive sites are sought in order to form the core of the new informatics institute.

Successful applicants will receive long-term funding awards and become part of a collaborative research community working together to deliver the institute’s priorities, as set out by HDR UK’s inaugural Director, Professor Andrew Morris. Professor Morris officially takes up HDR UK duties today, 1 August.

HDR UK’s inaugural Director, Professor Andrew Morris
“My vision is to work across the UK to exploit the extraordinary capability of informatics and computational medicine to create a new type of research institute that leads the international agenda in health data science. By working in partnership with academia, NHS, Government, industry and the public, the Institute will be a scientific driving force for new knowledge through data, bringing benefits to medicine and society.”

This is the first phase of investment to establish HDR UK, with competitions to follow to build capacity under a Future Leaders Programme and to address targeted data research challenges by investing in additonal partnership sites.
HDR UK is a joint investment led by the MRC, together with the National Institute for Health Research (England), the Chief Scientist Office (Scotland), Health and Care Research Wales, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the British Heart Foundation and Wellcome. Harnessing the power of the NHS and associated health and biomedical data in the UK, HDR UK will develop and apply the cutting edge informatics approaches needed to address the most pressing health research challenges facing patients and the public.

Read the article here:
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Entry is open for the 2017 Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards, celebrating the world's most excellent information design.

There are $20,000's worth of prizes to be awarded to the creators of data visualization, infographics and other data-driven media in the categories of Arts, Environments, Current Affairs, Corporate, Humanitarian, Science, Sports - and for everything outside the box - Unusual.

Submission closes 8 Sept 2017, for more information visit
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