B3586 - Super Cohort for COVID Research - 07/08/2020

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Andy Boyd | University of Bristol
Prof. Jonathan Sterne, Prof. John Macleod, Prof. Nic Timpson, Dr Kate Northstone
Title of project: 
Super Cohort for COVID Research
Proposal summary: 

We propose that a ‘Super Cohort’ - comprising of multiple existing UK Longitudinal Population Studies (LPS), including ALSPAC/Children of the 90s – is formed. The data from ALSPAC participants will be linked to whole population NHS and subsequently administrative records and rapidly used for COVID-19 (COVID) research. This work is part of UK government strategy for COVID pandemic research developed by the NHS, government officials and academic health and social science research community. The Super Cohort envisages centralised (by UK nation) sets of key NHS records which are minimised to the purpose, joined together and regularly refreshed during the COVID pandemic. All records will be stored, processed and used for research in a 'Trusted Research Environment'. This is a high security research server which is de-identified and allows researchers to access individuals (including ALSPAC participants) records without revealing individual identities. No data is allowed to exit the server, only anonymous statistical research findings can be exported. These findings will contribute to government policy development and the international understanding of COVID as a disease and the impacts of social distancing and other protective measures.

Impact of research: 
The ability for longitudinal studies - including ALSPAC - to rapidly answer priority government policy questions using linked study and routine health and social and environmental data.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 30 July, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 31 July, 2020
Epidemiology, COVID-19, Data Linkage