Rapid systematic review to identify key barriers to access, linkage, and use of local authority administrative data for population health research, practice, and policy in the United Kingdom.
BACKGROUND: Improving data access, sharing, and linkage across local authorities and other agencies can contribute to improvements in population health. Whilst progress is being made to achieve linkage and integration of health and social care data, issues still exist in creating such a system. As part of wider work to create the Cambridge Child Health Informatics and Linked Data (Cam-CHILD) database, we wanted to examine barriers to the access, linkage, and use of local authority data. METHODS: A systematic literature search was conducted of scientific databases and the grey literature. Any publications reporting original research related to barriers or enablers of data linkage of or with local authority data in the United Kingdom were included. Barriers relating to the following issues were extracted from each paper: funding, fragmentation, legal and ethical frameworks, cultural issues, geographical boundaries, technical capability, capacity, data quality, security, and patient and public trust. RESULTS: Twenty eight articles were identified for inclusion in this review. Issues relating to technical capacity and data quality were cited most often. This was followed by those relating to legal and ethical frameworks. Issue relating to public and patient trust were cited the least, however, there is considerable overlap between this topic and issues relating to legal and ethical frameworks. CONCLUSIONS: This rapid review is the first step to an in-depth exploration of the barriers to data access, linkage and use; a better understanding of which can aid in creating and implementing effective solutions. These barriers are not novel although they pose specific challenges in the context of local authority data.
Online Publication Date
Wellcome Trust (218025/A/19/Z)