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UK’s Department of Health and Social Care: Data Saves Lives Explained

By Janeiro Digital | July 20, 2021

In June, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care announced a new draft policy Data Saves Lives in collaboration with NHSX, to solve the age old challenge of interoperability and patient access to data in the NHS. But what does it mean? 

We’ve summarized the highlights….

The Topline

The new policy aims to “unleash the unlimited potential of data in health and care, while maintaining the highest standards of privacy, ethics and accountability.” 

This means better treatment and outcomes for people who need care, and better decision-making, research, and support for those providing care.

There are four different ways that the strategy will roll out. They are:

Pillar One: Giving people access and control over their data.

Data helps to put people at the center of their own care.

  • Patient access to personal health & social care data, with direct interface to care teams
  • Addition of self-reported or generated data into the health and social care record
  • Increased confidence & control over who else can access an individual’s care data
  • Clinicians & care professionals can access & update a person’s information into a single record

Pillar Two: Empowering health and care professionals to provide the best care

Enabling data-informed, personalized care.

  • Easy, consented access to patient information
  • Better data to enhance clinical decision making with additional patient-generated data e.g. sleep, activity
  • Reduce time lost to searching for & logging information
  • Clinicians & care professionals can access & update patient information in a single record
  • Joined up health & social care, connecting everyone involved in a persons care

Pillar Three: Supporting local and national decision making

Building policies and programs based on real-world evidence

  • Create services to address needs of local communities
  • Evaluate & improve care services
  • Deliver targeted national programs for better public health
  • Identify & respond to potential risks earlier
  • Joined up health & social care, connecting everyone involved in a persons care
  • Data-driven policies, guidelines, standards & regulations

Pillar Four: Catalyzing innovation and research

Enhancing trust and transparency in technology and data to change lives

  • Safe access to huge, rich & anonymized data sets to drive and inform research, medicines discovery and care
  • Implementation of open-access systems and architecture
  • Strict regulations on sharing and use of data, driven by person-consented access
  • Clear and robust framework for deployment of new, advantageous technologies at scale




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