Freeing up health analysis: Using government data

Based on the precedent of the Justice Data Lab, we argue that relevant government departments should adopt a data labs model to enable charities to better understand the impact of their services on people’s health. This would allow the whole health sector learn what works, and would help to build more effective and efficient services.

If charities had better access to government health data they could learn more about their impact. They could, for example, find out whether their services had prevented accidents and illnesses, alleviated pain and stress, or reduced the number of hospital admissions.

In the long run, if we understood more about the impact of charitable services, we would have a better evidence base for which types of interventions work best in different circumstances. This would help up provide more effective and efficient services.

This report outlines the case for improving charities’ access to government health data through a model similar to the Justice Data Lab. In it we answering the following questions:

  • Why is access to health analysis needed?
  • How could access be achieved?
  • What are the potential benefits?

The aim is to make the case for this data labs model to be introduced by relevant government departments.

To discuss the contents of this report further, please get in touch via Find out more about our Data Labs project and get updates on Twitter via @NPCthinks and #DataLabs.