Dr Rudolf Cardinal, CPFT’s Research Database lead and consultant psychiatrist, is co-investigator for DATAMIND and his team will be leading on involving patients and the public in the project, providing technical expertise and software contributions, and indexing data.
Rudolf (pictured) said: “We're delighted to be part of the DATAMIND project, to improve people's mental health by making the best use of mental health data, across the UK. Mental health data is collected all the time - for example, in the NHS and in research studies, including those about physical illnesses. We want to make it easier for researchers to find relevant data so they can conduct research to benefit mental health.
“At the same time, it's vital that data are used safely and securely, respecting the privacy and wishes of everyone who contributes to it. We recently asked 29,275 people across the UK in our national health data survey how they think their NHS data should be used for research. We'll use what we've learned and ensure that patients and the public continue to help develop this new hub.”
Led by Professor Ann John at Swansea University and Professor Rob Stewart at King’s College London, DATAMIND will improve the use of big data for mental health research by providing expert data services, tools and expertise to a wide range of users across the UK, in partnership with the NHS, universities, charities, research institutes and industry.
Professor Ann John, Co-Director of DATAMIND, said: “We’re really excited about DATAMIND. By working together with the public, patients, researchers, industry and the NHS, we will transform both our understanding of mental health and the lives of people experiencing mental health problems. We will create a Hub where researchers and others can find and use mental health data to benefit patients and the public and improve care.
“We know how important it is that people understand how their data is used and feel comfortable, which is why we will work closely with the public, patients, and those with personal experience to ensure these open conversations happen and that the highest standards of data security and privacy are met.”
Dr Sarah Markham, patient and public member of the DATAMIND Independent Oversight Board, said: “DATAMIND has a significant potential to improve the lives of both mental health patients and the wider community of the UK. This is an incredibly exciting innovation. Through my involvement I hope to help embed the principles of patient and public involvement and co-production in data linkage, sharing and use, and help to support and empower mental health patients in the context of data-driven research.”
It is the latest addition to a network of health data research hubs in the UK led by Health Data Research UK and funded through UKRI’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. These hubs are improving the use of health data, and also supporting the country’s research response to the pandemic, tracking the impact of Covid-19 and infections, and supporting vaccine rollout.