• You are here: 
  • Home
  • Researchers

Research Services

Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size

The Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) is a provider of primary care and linked data to researchers in the UK and worldwide, for observational and interventional public health studies. CPRD data has been used to produce over 1700 peer-reviewed research studies across a broad range of health outcomes. See our Bibliography page

The primary care database held by CPRD is known as GOLD. GOLD contains the anonymised, longitudinal medical records of patients registered with contributing primary care practices across the UK. Data has been collected from GP practices since 1987.

There are currently 22M patient lives in the CPRD primary care database, representative of the general UK population with respect to age, sex and ethnicity (Herrett et al. Int J Epidemiol. 2015;44(3):827-36).

CPRD GOLD contains patient registration information and all care events that general practice staff record in order to support the ongoing clinical care and management of their patients.

Observational Research Services

CPRD has an internal research team of epidemiologists and statisticians with a global reputation for conducting high-end pharmacoepidemiological research. We offer support to researchers for protocol development, gaining approvals for research, data extraction and analysis and medical writing for reports and publications.

Data include:

  • Demographics (year of birth, sex, weight, etc)
  • Symptoms and signs
  • Tests
  • Clinical events (medical diagnoses)
  • Immunisations
  • Prescriptions and interventions
  • Lifestyle information (e.g. smoking and alcohol status)
  • Referrals to secondary care

CPRD can provide linkage with datasets from secondary care, disease-specific cohorts and mortality records to enhance the scope for research. For currently available linkages, please see our Record Linkage page.

Interventional Research Services

CPRD has expanded significantly since 2015 and now offers a full portfolio of interventional services:

  • Feasibility assessment for pragmatic clinical trials
  • Rapid location of eligible patients
  • Pre-screening services
  • Primary care site recruitment
  • Trial recruitment referrals
  • Novel single electronic study platform
  • Randomisation at point of care
  • Direct data capture and integration of electronic health records and electronic case report forms
  • Patient reported outcomes and GP/patient questionnaires
  • Full trial management
  • Retrospective and prospective data capture
  • Bio-sample collections

Global Data

If you are interested in multi-country studies please contact us for more information.

Get in touch

For more information about our datasets and how CPRD can help facilitate your research please contact us at

CPRD for RESEARCHERS - How can we help?

CPRD will be providing a broad range of services around access to high population cover, longitudinal, high quality NHS and other health related observational data and linked data as well as interventional services- clinical trials, sample collections and Patient Reported Outcomes.

Recent CPRD-enabled research

Case Study 1:

The effectiveness of the influenza vaccine against hospital admissions and mortality in individuals with type 2 diabetes

Seasonal influenza accounts for a significant proportion of excess winter mortality. Current policy in the UK and in many countries worldwide recommends annual flu vaccinations for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, though evidence to support such policies is limited. Vamos and colleagues at Imperial College London recently investigated the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine at reducing cardiovascular and respiratory hospital admissions and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes. The study used linkages between CPRD GOLD primary care data, Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) mortality data to look at admissions and death in 125,000 patients over a seven-year period. Influenza vaccination was associated with a reduction in the rate of hospital admissions for acute cardiovascular and respiratory disease and a reduction in all-cause mortality across the seven flu seasons. The study has been widely reported within healthcare and mainstream media and supports current flu vaccination initiatives in the UK and beyond.

Vamos EP et al. Effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in preventing admission to hospital and death in people with type 2 diabetes. CMAJ. 2016 Oct 4;188(14):E342-E351.

Case Study 2:


The relationship between exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and environmental conditions such as pollution, temperature and humidity are not well understood. The COPE study is recruiting patients with COPD through the CPRD network of general practices across the UK to investigate the effect of personalised environmental conditions on the rate of exacerbations. Using novel methodology, retrospective and prospective e-healthcare data from CPRD GOLD, HES and ONS will be linked to data collected from personalised air monitors worn by each patient in the study for up to six months. Time-location activity and exacerbation frequency and severity will be assessed to create a predictive algorithm for future exacerbations. Ultimately, researchers aim to extrapolate the data to create a predictive model for COPD across London.

Moore E at al. Linking e-health records, patient-reported symptoms and environmental exposure data to characterise and model COPD exacerbations: protocol for the COPE study. BMJ Open. 2016 Jul 13;6(7):e011330.