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Events Research Programme uses CIPHA health data platform


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Government’s Events Research Programme has begun to use a digital health data platform to monitor how the pilot social events are affecting the Covid-19 pandemic.

It has adopted the Cheshire and Merseyside Combined Intelligence for Population Health Action (CIPHA) system for research on the round of events in Liverpool including last week’s Circus club nights and Sefton Park music festival.

CIPHA, which is based on Graphnet Health’s CareCentric platform for linking health and social care data, is being used to match Covid test results with ticket purchases to inform research and ensure any transmission of the virus is properly monitored.

People buying tickets for the events must register their details and take lateral flow tests before and after attending, with the data going into CIPHA to be available for research.

Iain Buchan, dean of the Institute of Population Health at the University of Liverpool, who is leading the public health evaluation of the Events Research Programme, said: “CIPHA has enabled civic, public health and NHS organisations to work quickly to a single source of truth across Liverpool – offering a command centre for very complex and fast moving operations such as building a public health safety net around events.”

Underpinning pandemic response

The CIPHA platform was developed by the Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care System to underpin its Covid-19 responses. The programme is run in partnership between the region’s NHS, local authorities and University of Liverpool.

The system links health and care information on 2.5 million people from sources including acute trusts, general practice, community and mental health trusts, local authorities and 999 and 111 services. It also takes in national data sources such as NHS Pillar 2 data and vaccination data from the National Immunisation management System.

Brian Waters, chief executive of Graphnet, commented:. “The CIPHA programme is right at the forefront of thinking about the collection and use of data to support local and national initiatives to combat coronavirus – both operationally and in terms of scientific research. We are delighted to be working alongside the CIPHA teams.”

The Events Research Programme has been set up to examine the risk of transmission of Covid-19 from attendance at events and explore ways to enable people to attend a range of events safely.

Image from Jo Hartley

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