In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the UK government has initiated six National Core Studies to conduct research into COVID-19. EPIC-Norfolk has been invited to take part in one of these studies — the UK Longitudinal Linkage Collaboration (UK LLC). The UK LLC is bringing together information from longitudinal study volunteers with their routine records in a secure way. Over 20 longitudinal studies are taking part in this collaboration.
De-personalised study data will be sent to the University of Bristol’s secure research server. EPIC-Norfolk and UK LLC will work with the NHS and statistical authorities to link official records. Only approved researchers will be able to apply for access to this data and only requests that aim to benefit the public will be approved. The EPIC-Norfolk study management committee will still review each application and decide whether EPIC-Norfolk data is included.
This invaluable research resource will help researchers work towards improving health and wellbeing throughout and beyond COVID-19. Access to the health records of participants in the EPIC-Norfolk study will help researchers track which participants have had COVID-19, if and when participants had a vaccination, and any other relevant health related information. The research will also consider the wider impacts of COVID-19, particularly lockdown and the disruption of the normal functioning of the economy and government services, on health and wellbeing.
Joining the UK LLC collaboration is an incredible opportunity for participant data to make a real difference. Researchers hope to find out more about the impact of the pandemic that was not possible before this way of working was set up. The findings from this research will feed directly into NHS and government planning.
Further information can be found on the UK LLC website
If you have any questions about the UK LLC, please contact the study team.