ADR UK enables vital research in response to Covid-19 crisis
Categories: Data linkage programmes, Research using linked data, Impact, ADR Scotland, ADR Northern Ireland, ADR Wales, Office for National Statistics, ADR England, Children & young people, Health & wellbeing, Inequality & social inclusion, World of work
9 November 2020
ADR UK partners are playing an important role in enabling vital research in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, helping to mitigate immediate effects and assess longer-term impacts on society:
ADR Northern Ireland researchers analyse Covid-19 deaths;
ADR Scotland directors lead key Covid-19 data task force;
ADR Wales assesses impact on Welsh population;
New ONS Covid-19 datasets enable analysis of social and economic impacts.
The impact of the crisis means the need for timely access to administrative data to support high quality research and government decision-making on social and economic issues is greater than ever.
ADR UK’s linked datasets, created from multiple sources across UK public services, will be vital to informing how research across sectors addresses the societal impacts of this pandemic. They will help us develop a better understanding of the long-term impact on different groups in society with respect to health, education, crime and the economy.
The linked Growing Up in England (GUIE) dataset enables development of a clearer understanding of childhood vulnerability across England. Vitally, this could provide insight into how vulnerable children and young people can be better supported in times of crisis.
The Wage and Employment Dynamics (WED) project, led by researchers at the University of the West of England (UWE), will enable analysis of the long-term impact of the crisis on people’s earnings and employment prospects.
Read on to find out about more of the important work underway across the partnership.
In Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) researchers have been assisting in the production and continuous development of official weekly deaths statistics, recently supplemented with specific analysis of Covid-19 related deaths. They are investigating how data linkage opportunities may broaden the existing evidence base to support decision making related to Covid-19, as well as the impact Covid-19 is having on society.
Areas of interest include excess deaths – particularly the difference between observed and expected deaths – as well as the impact of a range of demographic and socioeconomic factors such as ethnicity, disability and occupation.
Researchers at the Administrative Data Research Centre Northern Ireland (ADRC NI) have begun planning for research in a post-Covid world, in which evidence will be needed on how the most vulnerable have been affected.
ADRC NI researchers within Queen’s University Belfast are linked to research teams throughout the UK – including the Northern Ireland Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Ageing (NICOLA), HDR UK (Health Data Research UK), and a national black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) consortium of researchers and organisations – to create large linked administrative datasets. These will facilitate a better quantification of the risks of Covid-19 to society as a whole as well as its disproportionate effects on certain groups.
ADRC NI also hopes to extend its current research programmes by refreshing the data to include health and prescription data across the pandemic period.
ADR Scotland’s Co-Directors Roger Halliday and Chris Dibben, alongside other colleagues from the partnership, are members of the Scottish Covid-19 Intelligence Network. The aim of the network is to identify, prioritise, and develop data and intelligence products that address some of the key challenges relating to Covid-19 and ultimately help to improve lives. The network has developed a Covid-19 data research service to provide secure access to data to help provide answers to key analytical and research questions about the nature of spread, risks and effects of the virus. For more information about accessing this data, please visit ResearchData.Scot.
Professor Susan McVie, who leads ADR Scotland’s Safer Communities research programme, has also joined the Independent Advisory Group on Police Use of Temporary Powers Related to the Coronavirus Crisis to provide scrutiny of policing in Scotland during the pandemic. Part of her role will be to harness the power of Police Scotland’s existing datasets and commission new data collections to help inform the work of the Advisory Group.
The Welsh Government, data research centres and the NHS have quickly created a cross-institutional team to provide timely evidence to inform policy and practice to tackle the epidemic and its impact in Wales, of which ADR Wales is a part. One Wales, as the team is now known, has come together to leverage existing and new datasets and apply their expertise to provide evidence to reduce the impact of the epidemic on the Welsh population using the SAIL Databank, an ADR Wales partner.
ADR Wales staff are managing all data acquisition, governance and data warehousing for Covid-19 related data being provisioned to governments, NHS and other data research projects across the UK. This includes a wide array of newly acquired data flowing into SAIL, as well as massively increasing the frequency of some other data flows, often to daily feeds. Speedy responses, collaborations and solutions brought on by the One Wales team, has allowed for faster data analysis, acquisition, technical and governances processes to be completed with minimal delay before analysis takes place in SAIL.
ADR Wales’ advancements in data linkage have also meant that the SAIL Databank can facilitate a secure, anonymised data pipeline to deliver information from a new Covid-19 symptom tracking app into the NHS across both England and Wales.
Several new Covid-19 datasets are now available in the ONS Secure Research Service (SRS). These include:
Business Impact of Covid-19 Survey (BICS) – This new voluntary fortnightly business survey captures UK businesses’ responses on how their turnover, workforce prices, trade and business resilience have been affected.
Census 2011 for England and Wales – Household structure for Covid-19 models – These tables contain the counts of the number of households (in England and Wales) within each Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) with each specific combination of ages within it. This dataset is to be used only for Covid-19 accredited projects.
Covid-19 Wastewater data – Samples of wastewater are collected four times per week from wastewater treatment plants across England. Samples are analysed to determine the number of gene copies of SARS-CoV-2 per litre using quantitative PCR. The N1 abundance is reported as gene copies per litre of wastewater sample collected. No adjustments for analytical efficiency has been applied.
NHS Test and Trace Data – NHS Test and Trace data for England and Wales (updated weekly). Please note: requests for access must be approved by the Joint Biosecurity Centre Chief Data Officer.
Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain (OPN Covid-19 module) – This survey contains new indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey to understand the impacts of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on people, households and communities in Great Britain.
Death registration data for England and Wales – provisional monthly extracts – Monthly death registration data, collected as part of civil registration, provide information on deaths that occur and are then registered. This dataset is to be used only for Covid-19 accredited projects. Monthly deaths will only be delivered for 2019 and 2020. The data is provisional, such that some of the cases in here may not be long-term UK residents and that a number of cases are subject to coroner inquests.
Covid-19 Infection Study – The purpose of this dataset is to understand the prevalence of Covid-19 in the UK population, including swab results, antibody tests and demographic information.
Census 2011 and Death Registrations Linked dataset, England and Wales – This bespoke dataset contains death registrations (for deaths occurring between 2 March and 28 July 2020) linked to the 2011 Census.
You can keep up-to-date with how each of ADR UK’s partner data services is operating in accordance with government guidelines in relation to the crisis in our Covid-19 update.