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Welcome to The Clinical Practice Research Datalink

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The Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) is the new English NHS observational data and interventional research service, jointly funded by the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). CPRD services are designed to maximise the way anonymised NHS clinical data can be linked to enable many types of observational research and deliver research outputs that are beneficial to improving and safeguarding public health. .

This e-health secure research service combines the expertise of the MHRA's General Practice Research Database (GPRD) and the Department of Health’s NIHR Research Capability Programme (RCP) which piloted the service over the last four years. CPRD combines the activities of GPRD and RCP.

Researchers using CPRD data and services will benefit from:

  • the unique nature of the NHS as essentially the single provider of health care (free at the point of care)
  • the NHS unique patient identifier - NHS number [It is only used by a trusted third party for linkage and is never released to researchers. It is a benefit in ensuring records can be validly linked within the approved governance process]
  • the NHS Primary Care gatekeeper approach to care
  • a partnership with the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
  • partnerships with the NIHR research networks - Topic Specific, Comprehensive and Primary Care  .
  • the extensive coded Electronic Health Record (EHR) IT systems
  • powerful coding systems
  • data quality markers, developed over many years
  • rapid data query tools even though CPRD data volumes are substantial
  • extensive data & research knowledge of CPRD staff and NIHR partner colleagues via the
    CPRD Knowledge Centre

CPRD services will develop incrementally over time increasing the population cover of primary care data and number of linked datasets. CPRD will also link to data from other domains such as Social Care.

All access and use of data via the CPRD are carefully controlled under UK and European law and the rules and regulations operating in the NHS.
See CPRD Governance for more details

The CPRD provides three key services to academic, pharma/biotech/devices and CRO researchers both in the UK and globally, subject to legal arrangements and approvals:

  • Interventional services and IT systems for clinical trials, bio-sample collections and Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs)
  • Research Services Full Pharmacoepidemiology, Pharmacoeconomics, Outcomes & risk benefit
  • Observational data Access to NHS and other health related data and linked data (suitably anonymised)

Many CPRD services are unique as they offer researchers capabilities which are impossible or hard to gain elsewhere and are provided in a way that gives added value to the research experience and its outputs.



Register for tailored information

To gain the most from the CPRD website and CPRD services, register your areas of interest on the registration part of our website.

Take me to the registration pages to register.