05 February 2018: We've been listening to the research community at a series of roadshows across the country.
The events are designed to share information about data, services and key topics such as National Data Opt-out.
More than 300 people have attended four sessions in Manchester, York, London and Bristol. Each roadshow carries a different set of themes that researchers can contribute to.
Feedback from the roadshows will be used to inform and shape how we can best meet the needs of the research community.
NHS Digital Strategic Account Manager, Research and Life Sciences, Estelle Spence, said: "We wanted to give researchers the chance to take part in meaningful, transparent discussions on topics that effect their work. It's been incredibly valuable for us to gain their insight into areas such as data protection legislation."
The roadshows attracted people from across the research community. Alison Lloyd, Research Ethics and Governance Manager at Manchester Metropolitan University, attended the Manchester roadshow. She said: "I've never applied to NHS Digital for data, but I potentially have to advise people from across the University that want to. At least I know where to start now, who to talk to and even how it works."
A local NHS Research Project Manager at the same roadshow, explained: "We're going through our ethics approvals at the moment and I attended the event to understand more about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how it may affect the set-up of our study."
Member of RAG and Director of the Leeds MRC Medical Bioinformatics Centre, Professor Sir Alex Markham, commented: "There have always been systems in place to support our community, but we need to wake up to what is on offer now. NHS Digital's research support package is fully functional and these roadshows are a crucial aspect of raising awareness about the data and services available to us.
"The sessions attracted fantastic feedback on how we can work more effectively together. NHS Digital needs to maintain researchers as a critical friend."
Further engagement opportunities are being delivered by Research Advisory Group. These include innovation workshops to develop creative solutions for future data services. We'll tell you more about these workshops in future email news bulletins.
If you'd like to make a suggestion for a future roadshow, get in touch.