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Research Advisory Group

The Research Advisory Group hosted by NHS Digital, brings the research community together to make better use of our data and services.


About the RAG

The Research Advisory Group (RAG), hosted by NHS Digital, brings the research community together to advance the use and effectiveness of NHS Digital's data and services. Group membership consists of senior representatives from across research, the third sector and NHS Digital.  

The aim of RAG is to build a strategic partnership between researchers and NHS Digital. This partnership will: 

  • enable NHS Digital to improve its data and data services  
  • help researchers deliver better research quicker through the use of high-quality NHS Digital data, for the benefit of patients and the public 

Read the RAG minutes

Learn more about our membership

Read our terms of reference

Sign up to our research bulletin

Researcher roadshow: Fundamentals of using routinely collected healthcare data in research

We were pleased to be part of a collaborative event for researchers providing data insights and advice which took place on 28 June 2021. This event was aimed at researchers who want to understand more about the fundamentals of using routinely collected healthcare data for research. 

These events are run by NHS Digital, The NIHR Research Design Service, MRC Regulatory Support Centre, Health Data Research UK and the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership. You can watch the sessions from our earlier roadshows.  

Sign up 

If you are interested in attending any of our future sessions please email


Please send any questions about this roadshow to

News and resources from RAG members and research organisations

Resources to support health data applications from Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) 

HQIP has designed and published a new series of short films and website content to support researchers and clinicians who wish to access health and care data for uses beyond treating individuals. 

The Understanding Health Data Access (UHDA) project is a suite of introductory resources explaining the rules that govern how health and social care data is shared in England and Wales. It includes an introduction to developing good data applications ,an animated film introducing the principles that data custodians work within to ensure that data is shared safely, legally, fairly and with public benefit. This will be of particular benefit to those with little previous or recent experience of making data applications.

The duty of confidentiality is a more detailed look at the legal requirements around the duty of confidentiality: how it arises, how it can be met, and it how this applies to health data application.

Planning a health data application: questions and information sources is a downloadable visual guide illustrating key steps in planning an application, and providing collated guidance and information across the research and data sharing pathway.

News and resources from RAG members

Further information

internal Data Access Request Service (DARS)

The Data Access Request Service (DARS) can offer clinicians, researchers and commissioners the data required to help improve NHS services. We handle applications, process data and provide access to specific sets of data when requests are approved.

Last edited: 13 September 2021 6:32 am