data use: NHS Covid-19 data store
The NHS Covid-19 data store was a national data store to help organisations responsible for coordinating the Covid-19 response. We drew on information in the public domain, on government web pages and elsewhere to produce this account.
Watch the NHS Covid-19 data store animation
Proposed benefit of the NHS Covid-19 Data Store:
- data gathered together in one secure place to inform the national response to the pandemic
Potential harm the NHS Covid-19 Data Store:
- lack of clarity about who had access to data & the contractual arrangements with commercial organisations;
- commercial companies may be able to use data to develop their technologies and potentially increase their profits.
Questions to discuss or think about
- What do you think about the NHS Covid-19 Data Store?
- Does anything surprise you about how data is being used here?
- How do you feel about who has control over how data is used in the NHS Covid-19 Data Store?
- How do you feel about how data is shared in the NHS Covid-19 Data Store?
- Look at the proposed benefits and potential harms of the NHS Covid-19 Data Store. What matters more to you: the proposed benefit or concern?
- Do you think the NHS Covid-19 Data Store is fair? Why/why not?
- How much do you feel like you understand the NHS Covid-19 Data Store?
What people think about the NHS Covid-19 Data Store
Most participants supported the ‘social good’ aims of the NHS Covid-19 Data Store:
“I would have thought that the more medical information they have, the better they can target treatment.”Bruce, white British, heterosexual man, aged 65+
But participants were also concerned about the involvement of commercial companies:
“I’ve just got some misgivings about the involvement of commercial companies, really, and I suppose what their access to the data is, which we don’t know, do we? [Laughs]”Nigel, white British, heterosexual man, aged 65+
And there were concerns about potential future sharing of data from the NHS Covid-19 Data Store:
“In many ways if that happens you can’t get the genie back in the bottle […] Once the data’s out there and shared and used, then you can’t recapture that, you can’t sort of regain, you know, the control over it.”Lewis, white British, heterosexual man, aged 55-64