Bradford set for digital revolution as city-wide agreement to share medical data for patient benefit is agreed

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Posted on the 23rd April 2017

  • All 88 GP surgeries in Bradford agree to share de-identified medical data as part of local health initiative
  • 2 Trusts, Bradford Council and 3 CCGs will also participate
  • The data will be used to improve treatments for frailty and childhood obesity as part of the Connected Health Cities programme

Better health and care will soon be a reality for the people of Bradford as health services unanimously agree to unite and share information as part of a new tech-driven health improvement programme.

Designed around the needs of local communities, the Connected Health Cities programme will put de-identified medical information to work, turning under-used and routinely collected health data into better health and care services for patients.

By securely linking information together from across primary, secondary and community services, research teams based in Bradford can better understand how patients move across and through the local health system.  This ‘big picture’ perspective will allow services to be re-designed, offering more personalised and prevention-focused support to patients.

Using the data to address local health priorities, the team in Bradford will prioritise support for frailty in older people and childhood obesity.  Through the latest advances in technology a team based at Bradford Teaching Hospital and the University of Bradford will analyse the data to identify patterns in the way symptoms associated with the two conditions develop over time.

This understanding will then be used to re-design treatment pathways so that more appropriate support is provided earlier and more serious and complex outcomes are avoided.  In practice this could, for example, mean that an older person receives more bespoke and targeted community based support, allowing them to remain independent for longer.

Prof John Wright, Director of the Connected Yorkshire Connected Health City said: “We have been taken aback by the fantastic level of support for our Connected health Cities programme in Bradford and Airedale.  All 88 general practices covering over half a million patients have now signed up. We will be working with clinicians and patients to develop cutting edge approaches to how linked data can improve the quality and safety of health care we provide in the NHS”

Gurvin Rafiq, a patient representative in Bradford said: “Having been involved as a mother in the Born in Bradford – BIB project, I feel that the use of anonymised linked data will become the future of quality improvement and patient care consideration.  The use of anonymised data will help develop improvements to care pathways and outcomes for the citizens of Bradford.”

Kuldeep Sohal, Programme Manager of the CHC programme in Yorkshire said: “The anonymised data from the GP Practices across Bradford City & Districts and Airedale, Wharfedale & Craven CCGs will be valuable to Connected Health Cities to provide insights into what is happening in the real world across the region and how we can improve childhood obesity and the frailty pathways of care.”

The findings from the research will be shared across other Northern cities through the Connected Health Cities network.  Designed to improve health and reduce inequalities between the North and South the programme is funded by the Department of Health through the Northern Health Science Alliance.  In addition to improving care the programme is also working extensively with patients and public representatives to understand more about patient attitudes to information sharing.

The data used in Bradford will be safely stored and analysed at Bradford Teaching Hospital and will only be accessed by approved professionals.  All personal information like name and full date of birth will be removed before analysis.

For more information please visit


Notes to editors

For further information please contact Stephen Melia, Communications Lead, Connected Health Cities, Tel: 07557 310 213, Email:

  1. Organisations that have signed up to the Connected Health Cities programme are:
  • 88 GP Practices signed up. In total amounts to 100%.
  • Across 3 CCGs – Bradford City, Bradford Districts and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG
  • 2 Trusts – Airedale Hospitals, Bradford District Community Trust (BDCT)
  • Bradford Council – Health & Well Being department
  • Sue Ryder charity for palliative care
  • Approval from senior management at Bradford Teaching Hospitals
  1. Connected Health Cities (CHC) is £20 million pilot project that will safely and securely combine population data and technology to address chronic disease burdens and reduce early mortality in city regions of Northern England.

Funded by the Department of Health through the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) CHC will unite experts from academia, NHS and industry to improve services for patients and will build public partnerships that are founded on trust and transparency.  Delivered by The University of Manchester on behalf of the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) CHC will be established in Greater Manchester, North East and North Cumbria, North West Coast and Yorkshire. #datasaveslives


Find out more about the Bradford Institute for Health Research

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