Case study – healthy living in Bradford

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My name is Gurvin Rafiq.  As a busy working mum with two girls, the youngest now 8 years old, I wanted to get involved in the Born in Bradford project because I care about improving the health services that are available to my family.


There is still so much to be done to improve health and social care.  That’s why I participated in the Born in Bradford (BiB) study which started in 2007.

When I heard about BiB I thought it sounded like a good idea. A healthier lifestyle and better diet for all? New research that would help improve the care of our community.  Who wouldn’t want that?

The programme works by using data that are routinely collected by the health teams that treat you.  The data isn’t used to provide me and my family with our direct care, it is for a secondary purpose – new research!  Research that could, amongst other things, prevent childhood illnesses and improve care services so that they are more joined up.

I support the concept of researchers using my daughters’ medical data to help find out more about the causes and preventative measures that can be taken to stop some childhood illnesses.  The data include information from thousands of BiB participants and I trust that the research teams involved have the best interests of our local community at heart.

As everyday measures are used, it is interesting to see in the findings how children are developing, if there are any local health issues that need to be addressed and/or if there is any support available to promote healthier child growth.  I always find time to stay up-to-date with the latest findings from the project.

Research findings are communicated in a newsletter, published on a quarterly basis.  Birthday cards are sent out to the children along with a family festival run every two years to keep families informed.  I feel really lucky that the people of Bradford have such a worthwhile scheme running in our area.

The Connected Yorkshire #DATASAVESLIVES project will be useful to better understand the health needs of the people of Bradford and beyond.  The de-identified information (with name and full address removed)  from different services will be linked together to help local services work smarter, become more tech-driven and more intelligence led.

Many companies are already use data to improve our lives from transport services and supermarkets to mobile services.  If we can harness technology and the power of data to find new ways to tackle health issues then this is something I am fully supportive of.

The Future

The ability to link data together has real potential to improve early identification of problematic areas in health.  I am fully supportive of the use of linked data working towards the care that each patient receives is quicker, best for them and happens at the right time .  All learning will be shared so that patients receive good care in all parts of the health service, not just some parts.  This ongoing work provides an opportunity to understand and contribute to a healthy life for all.

I am looking forward to finding out more about the ways that data from our regions is improving health services and making people healthier and happier.



For more information please contact Stephen Melia, Communications Lead, Connected Health Cities (E:, Tel: 07557 310 213)