National Health Service (NHS) records
The NHS maintains information on all patients accessing health services through routine medical and other health-related records. These records are held within statistical health databases which record information about:
- admissions or attendances at hospital (including dates of admission, discharge or attendance, diagnoses received, treatments given, surgical procedures)
- visits to your family doctor or other health professional, e.g. midwife
- records of specific conditions such as cancer or diabetes
- prescriptions given.
Why is this information useful?
We collect information about your health in the interview but this information is fairly limited in scope. The information recorded in your medical records is objective and based on confirmed diagnoses by medical professionals. However, medical records may not be entirely complete as they will not include details about problems which have not been reported to a doctor.
Combining information from the interview with information from your health records would give us a more complete picture of your health.
This information will allow researchers to answer questions such as:
- What are the lifestyle factors associated with the onset of particular illnesses?
- What are the impacts of particular illnesses on other aspects of people’s lives such as employment, income and family life?