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Data Science Team come out top at Health Data Research UK Awards

 Image credit to HDRUK

From left: Vishnu Chandrabalan, Dale Kirkwood, Quinta Ashcroft, Dame Julie Moore and Tim Howcroft.


A team of colleagues from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Data Science Team have been awarded a Health Data Research UK Award for their work in turning data into research, to help improve patient care and health outcomes for the region.

HDR UK is the UK's national institute for health data science and the award celebrates achievement through collaborative endeavours by groups of researchers, innovators, and technologists.

The award winners were presented with their prizes during the 2024 HDR UK Conference in Leeds by Chair of the Board, Dame Julie Moore, who said: “The HDR UK awards and recognitions highlight the achievements of the people behind progress in health data research. Congratulations to all of the shortlisted entrants and the winners.”

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Data Science team is led by Consultant Surgeon, Professor Vishnu Chandrabalan, who is also Honorary Clinical Chair at Lancaster Medical School, alongside Professor in Applied Data Science at Lancaster Medical School, Jo Knight, Emergency Medicine Specialist Registrar, Dale Kirkwood, and Quinta Ashcroft and Tim Howcroft from the Trust.

Professor Chandrabalan is also Director and Chief Clinical Information Officer for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Secure Data Environment, and Head of Data Science and Consultant Surgeon in General and Colorectal Surgery at the Trust. He leads Lancashire and South Cumbria's Secure Data Environment programme which promises to bring together a range of data with the aim of improving health outcomes in the region.

He said: “This work has resulted in a significantly better understanding of the data we hold for our patients and how best to make it more accessible for research, improving care and efficiency. A research-active health care system has been shown to deliver better outcomes for patients. This can only be a good thing for the people we serve.”

Professor Knight from Lancaster University added: “Research using routinely collected data can be used to ensure that we improve health outcomes for everyone which aligns with the Lancaster University vision of doing research that has real world impact. We are privileged to be part of this small but powerful team.”

Dale Kirkwood, part of the team, wrote the application as a Christmas gift and a piece of thanks to his colleagues. He said: “I couldn't be happier for them in recognition of their effort and dedication. Being as busy and focused as they are, they need people to shout from the roof tops for them!”

Stephen Dobson, Chief Information Officer at the Trust, was also delighted with the win. He said: “This team punches way above its weight and is rapidly gaining national and international recognition with collaborations up and down the country.”

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