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Clinical review: The impact of data released through the Data Access Request Service

Aim and methodology


This report will explore how organisations, other than NHS Digital, use patient-level DARS data to bring about a change to health and care. It builds upon a pilot study launched in summer 2018.


In late 2018, the pilot was extended. A further 82 DARS applications were sampled. These covered the same recipient types as before, but the data sets covered were expanded from just Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), to also include:

  • patient reported outcome measures
  • MRIS cohort event
  • improving access to psychological therapies data set
  • diagnostic imaging data set
  • community services data set
  • mental health services data set

The researcher started with the coding frame, developed during the pilot. Yielded benefit statements were coded and the frame was modified as required. Coding was validated by other members of the multidisciplinary team.

Once saturation had been reached, a multidisciplinary workshop was held to discuss and structure the coding frame. This marked the beginning of an iterative process of recoding using the constant comparison method and modifying the coding frame, as the categories became more clearly defined. After several iterations, nodes (impact categories) and child nodes (more granular impacts) were agreed. The data was then mapped onto the finalised coding frame.

Last edited: 22 October 2019 10:03 am