Ageing Data Research Collaborative @geridata

Fact sheet
Our fact sheets help you find resources beyond the British Geriatrics Society website
Date Published:
03 February 2020
Last updated: 
22 September 2020

Links, information and contacts for making the best use of big data in your area.

Purpose of the Ageing Data Research Collaborative

Our chief aim is to promote big data research among the geriatric medicine community, and work to increase the dialogue between data science and clinicians particularly in the field of ageing research.

Members of the Collaborative

  • Atul Anand (Geriatrics SpR, Edinburgh)
  • Cini Bhanu (GP, London)
  • Jenni Burton (Geriatrics SpR, Glasgow)
  • Richard Dodds (Consultant in Geriatric Medicine, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
  • Jonathan Hewitt (Geriatrics & Stroke Consultant, Cardiff)
  • Joe Hollinghurst (Data scientist, Swansea)
  • James van Oppen (ED registrar, Leicester)
  • Terry Quinn (Geriatrics & Stroke Consultant, Glasgow)
  • Oliver Todd (Geriatrics SpR, Bradford)
  • Katherine Walesby (Geriatrics SpR, Edinburgh)
  • Chris Wilkinson (Cardiology SpR, Newcastle)

Committee meetings

Meetings are approximately three times per year, via teleconference, made possible with the support of the British Geriatrics Society.

New members welcome
Please contact Oliver [dot] Todd [at] bthft [dot] nhs [dot] uk (subject: Big%20Data%20(via%20BGS%20website)) (@geridata )

England data resources

Office for National Statistics (ONS)
The ONS provide UK-wide and nation-specific data across a wide range of topics, including health and social care. Data are available on life expectancy, population data, health status and drug use, among many others.
HES contains data on all admissions, A and E attendances and outpatient appointments at NHS hospitals in England. Clinical, demographic, administrative and geographical data are included. A selection of data tables and analyses are available on the website, but It is also possible to apply for bespoke extracts.
PHE collects and publishes statistics on public health topics including health protection and health improvement.
Open Prescribing
This resource is run by the Evidence Based Medicine data lab at the University of Oxford, and provides a portal to run your own analyses on anonymised GP prescription data.
The UK data service
The UK data service provides access to UK-wide (and England specific) study data including government-sponsored surveys, cross-national surveys, longitudinal studies, UK census data, international aggregate, business data, and qualitative data.

Primary care data

A number of providers offer access to primary care data for research use, including:

Scotland data resources

National Records of Scotland
Baseline population statistics.

Public Benefit and Privacy Panel (PBPP) Scotland
Permissions process for data linkage research approvals in Scotland.

Electronic Data Research and Innovation Service (eDRIS)
Support approvals process and management of National Data Safe Haven.

Administrative Data Research Scotland (ADRC)
Partnership between Scottish Government’s Data Sharing and Linkage Unit and the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research.

Community Health Index

Useful papers

Application process

Data sources

General guidance

Wales data resources

Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) databank
The SAIL Databank is a world-class flagship for the robust secure storage and use of anonymised person-based data for research to improve health, well-being and services. Its databank of anonymised data about the population of Wales is internationally recognised. Backed and endorsed by the Government, the SAIL Databank receives core funding from the Welsh Government’s Health and Care Research Wales. 

Health Data Research UK (HDRUK)
Health Data Research UK aims to unite the UK’s health data to enable discoveries that improve people’s lives. 

Official statistics for Wales.

Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK) Wales
is a partnership transforming the way researchers access the UK’s wealth of public sector data, to enable better informed policy decisions that improve people’s lives. 

Dementias Platform UK (DPUK)
DPUK is a public-private partnership funded by the Medical Research Council, working across traditional boundaries, bringing researchers from universities and industry together in the fight to develop effective treatments for dementia fast. 

Useful papers


  • Lyons RA, Jones KH, John G, Brooks CJ, Verplancke J-P, Ford D V, et al. The SAIL databank: linking multiple health and social care datasets. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak [Internet]. 2009;9(1):3. Available from:
  • Ford D V, Jones KH, Verplancke J-P, Lyons RA, John G, Brown G, et al. The SAIL Databank: building a national architecture for e-health research and evaluation. BMC Health Serv Res [Internet]. 2009;9(1):157. Available from:
  • Jones KH, Ford D V., Jones C, Dsilva R, Thompson S, Brooks CJ, et al. A case study of the secure anonymous information linkage (SAIL) gateway: A privacy-protecting remote access system for health-related research and evaluation. J Biomed Inform. 2014;


  • Andrew Clegg, Chris Bates, John Young, Ronan Ryan, Linda Nichols, Elizabeth Ann Teale, Mohammed A. Mohammed, John Parry, Tom Marshall, Development and validation of an electronic frailty index using routine primary care electronic health record data, Age and Ageing, Volume 45, Issue 3, May 2016, Pages 353–360,
  • Joe Hollinghurst, Richard Fry, Ashley Akbari, Andy Clegg, Ronan A Lyons, Alan Watkins, Sarah E Rodgers, External validation of the electronic Frailty Index using the population of Wales within the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank, Age and Ageing, September 2019, afz110,

General guidance

  • The EQUATOR network: Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research. The website contains reporting guidelines for different study types including observations studies (STROBE).

Connect and get involved

Get involved, connect with colleagues and join others interested in harnessing the potential of big data by emailing the Oliver [dot] Todd [at] bthft [dot] nhs [dot] uk (subject: Big%20Data%20(via%20BGS%20website)) (Ageing Data Research Collaborative), following @geridata on Twitter, by utilising the BGS Members Directory or by leaving a message via the form below.

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