The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how timely access to data is critical for researchers and policymakers to best understand a situation and its impact on society.
Both organisations are part of a cross-institutional team called One Wales that was quickly assembled when Covid-19 cases first emerged. The purpose was to provide the necessary expertise and insight to guide policy decision making to the Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and the UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
The wider research community can now also benefit from this increased availability of data. New administrative datasets, including Census data as well as health-related data, can be accessed by approved researchers whose projects are approved via SAIL Databank’s usual application process and, where required, the Research Accreditation Panel (RAP) also. Researchers accessing data from SAIL may only do so in line with the ‘Five Safes’ framework.
Some of the new, anonymised datasets available in the SAIL Databank include:
- ONS 2011 Census Wales (CENW)
- School Workforce Annual Census
- Education Attendance Dataset
- COVID-19 Symptom Tracker Dataset
- Covid Vaccination Dataset (CVVD)
- COVID-19 Shielded People list
- COVID-19 Test results
- Covid Lateral Flow Test (CVLF)
- COVID-19 Test Trace and Protect [CTTP]
- COVID-19 Sequence Data
Using this data linked with other datasets held securely within the SAIL Databank has allowed the One Wales team to provide rapid analysis to the Welsh Government TAG and UK SAGE on a number of areas, including:
- The near-real-time prevalence of infections at community level using Covid-19 testing data
- The experiences of those placed on the shielded list in Wales and those that were living with a shielded individual
- Hospital discharge analysis and community prevalence and care home outbreaks
- Covid transmission within the school environment
- An evaluation on vaccines and clotting in Wales
Access to anonymised data for research is subject to SAIL Databank’s strict governance and application process. You can see a list of all datasets currently available for secure research access within the SAIL Databank on the SAIL website.