In October 2019, seven new Health Data Research Hubs were launched as UK centres of excellence for expertise, data, tools, scientific knowledge and open innovation. HDR UK is now delighted to be able to share our report outlining the impacts the Hubs have made over the past 18 months.

Key content from the report includes:

Health Data Research Hubs – the story so far

Our network of Health Data Research Hub (Hubs) are pioneering and informing the development of health data research in the UK, and globally, and is demonstrating how insights from data are improving people’s lives.

The Hubs are centres of excellence with expertise, tools, knowledge and ways of working to maximise the insights and innovations developed from the health data.

Impact and sustainability

The COVID-19 pandemic brought into focus the need for analysis of a broad range of rich datasets at scale. All Hubs have used their data improvement efforts to support the NHS, academia, and industry, in utilising the power of data to understand and overcome COVID-19.

Improvements to health data

Collectively, the Hubs have made 157 datasets available via the Hub Collections on the Gateway, a portal that allows researchers and innovators to find and request access to datasets.

Engaging patients and the public

Involvement of patients and the public, particularly minority voices such as people with disabilities and from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex + (LGBTQI+) communities, has positively impacted on many of the Hubs’ processes and outputs.

Data improvement case studies

Hub case studies focusing on how data improvements have generated opportunities for users across multiple sectors and the impact of the improvements to data value and Hub sustainability.

Data utility breakdowns

Dashboards outlining the Data Utility improvements on the Hub datasets provided at Milestone 1, using the Data Utility Evaluation Framework.

Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement case studies and plans

Highlights from the Hubs showing how Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) has been established and integrated across all Hub activities and the impact it has delivered.


Overviews of the Hubs’ key projects with industry, academia, NHS and charity, and how they have impacted on their services and sustainability.

Key Health Data Activities

Since October 2019 the Hubs have delivered remarkable work, including: 

  • Making over 157 datasets available via the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway
  • Delivering over 300 projects involving hundreds of partners from across the NHS, academia and industry 
  • Carrying out over 20,000 meaningful patient and public interactions 
  • Delivering over 2,300 training activities 

Supporting COVID-19 Data

They have also used their rich resources to support the UK’s response to COVID-19 pandemic, supporting on areas such as infection rates, vaccine rollout, and understanding the impact of COVID-19 on specific disease areas. The Hubs have demonstrated that this collaborative, cross-sector and fast-paced method of working delivers results that make a tangible difference to patients’ lives. 

Read the full report 

Find out more about the Hubs