UCL study on excess cancer deaths

A study led by researchers from DATA-CAN – The Health Data Research Hub for Cancer and UCL, part of HDR UK London, has indicated that we could see 18,000 additional deaths from cancer in England over the next year due to the impact of COVID-19.

Read more on DATA-CAN’s website and see media coverage in The Guardian, Sky News, and The Independent.


Visit the DATA-CAN site


Ensuring the patient and public voice in our COVID-19 response

HDR UK is committed to ensuring that patients, carer and the public are involved throughout our work, including in our urgent COVID-19 activities. Our Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) group for COVID-19 has 62 members from across the UK, who have been involved in helping to shape many aspects of our approach to the pandemic.


Find out more about the COVID-19 PPIE group


New COVID-19 datasets on the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway

We are working to quickly increase the number of datasets relating to COVID-19 that are discoverable through the Gateway to support important research that could help the NHS and patients. Now included is information on datasets on viral genome sequences from COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK), the Symptom Tracker app led by King’s College London, Guys & St Thomas’ Hospital and ZOE Global supported, and COVID-19 test results held by SAIL databank.

Also on the Gateway is information about a number of datasets from BREATHE – The Health Data Research Hub for Respiratory Health. Researchers and innovators looking to help tackle the pandemic can find out more about relevant datasets and make requests to access data through the Gateway.


Visit the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway


RECOVERY trial – exploring treatments for COVID-19

This week Professor Martin Landray, Research Director at HDR UK Oxford and lead for NHS DigiTrials – The Health Data Research Hub for Clinical Trials, and HDR UK’s National Priority in Clinical Trials, featured on the BBC’s Coronavirus Newscast. Martin discussed the RECOVERY trial, which now has over 8000 participants helping to identify whether existing drugs can be used to treat patients with severe COVID-19.

Listen to the podcast


UK patients and the NHS to benefit from new health data initiatives that will address major health challenges

HDR UK has this week announced new initiatives that will bring 58 new organisations into the HDR UK network. The initiatives aim to ensure patients receive the best possible care and services, and will benefit some of the most vulnerable patient groups, including those who are at greatest risk of COVID-19 by supporting the better use of data and analytical tools.

Read the full story


More information and tools

  1. Submit your research question or project – we are calling on anyone with a research question for COVID-19 that requires health data to share your ideas via our online form.
    Questions will be shared in our HDR UK COVID-19 Knowledge + Skills Matchmaker. We prioritise all of the questions using a transparent and objective process to identify the questions that most urgently need to access to data. Progress of the prioritised questions is reported weekly to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
  2. HDR UK GitHub repository – The HDR UK community is developing computer-based tools and methodologies to analyse and handle health data, including those that can help overcome the COVID-19 challenge. These are all shared in a central repository, which is open to the public, so that we can all learn from each other and build on each other’s work. They are shared in HDR UK’s area of GitHub.
  3. COVID-19 Slack channels – researchers and innovators looking to collaborate to use health data to address the pandemic can apply to join our dedicated Slack channels. Complete the form to register your interest in joining here.
  4. Take a look at our Skills + Knowledge Matchmaker to see a full list of COVID-19 ongoing projects, or visit COVID-19 page to see the latest version of HDR UK’s strategy to support efforts to tackle the pandemic.