Using patient information

One aspect of the GIRFT study uses statistical methods, including economic analysis, to examine ‘what works and at what cost?’

We are trying to assess whether the GIRFT programme has reduced variations in orthopaedic practice and costs, and improved patient outcomes. To do this, we are requesting confidential patient data for a group of patients who have undergone elective orthopaedic surgery between 1st April 2009 and 31st March 2018.

The data we would like to use include Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), a database containing details of all admissions to NHS hospitals in England, which is collected so that hospitals can be paid for the care they deliver. These data can also be processed and used for other purposes, such as research and planning health services. We would also like to use data from the National Joint Registry, which records details of joint replacement operations in order to monitor the results of surgery and protect patient safety.

Secure storage and processing of patient information

Researchers will not be able to identify patients, using the information that they are given by the organisations (National Joint Registry and NHS Digital). Personal identifiers of patients will only be securely transferred between these two organisations, so NHS Digital can link them together, to provide more accurate and complete information for researchers.

Both organisations will securely transfer pseudonymised data to researchers at UCL, so patient information can be processed without researchers being able to identify patients.

All pseudonymised patient information will be stored on a secure network that is password-protected, and can only be accessed by those with specialised training and access for the duration of the study.


If you would like further information about the use of your data in this research study, or would like to request that your confidential patient information is not included in this study, please contact us between 1st May – 1st June 2018 to discuss.

Contact details:

Dr Sarah Jasim

NIHR CLAHRC North Thames

Department of Applied Health Research

University College London

1-19 Torrington Place

London WC1E 7HB

Tel: 020 3105 3233