Primary Care Hosted Research Datasets Independent Scientific Committee (PrimDISC)
The department is developing a unified approvals process for accessing departmental data resources. This includes applications to use primary care research datasets, and for the re-use and re-analysis of existing Departmental Trials, Cohorts or other studies. There will be an independent committee to review applications.
This Committee, PrimDISC, will work to provide access only to NDPCHS assets listed here as some resources require a particular (different) mode of access. This list/site will be reviewed at least on a yearly basis and ideally monthly to ensure it is maintained up-to-date. PrimDISC acts on behalf of the NDPCHS Research Committee.
What are the core aims of this committee?
- Provide timely and high-quality peer review of the scientific (medical, epidemiological, methodological) merit of research protocols proposing access and use of the patient data within its remit
- Provide timely and high-quality peer review of the feasibility, quality and public health value of applications proposing the use of the patient data within its remit
- Follow the criteria and principles set out by the NDPCHS Research Committee in assessing and advising on research applications to access NDPCHS databases
- Assess and advise on ethical or confidentiality issues that may arise during access and/or use of the patient data within its remit in research studies, taking into consideration input from the research ethics committees or other groups, as relevant
- Follow the criteria and principles set out by the relevant oversight boards in assessing and advising on applications to access the databases
- Review internal workings of the Committee to ensure consistency, efficiency and high standards of peer-review are maintained
- Advise the research teams on technical issues that may arise
- Advise on other specific issues within its remit, as requested
- Assess if the proposed project requires ethical approval and to make any positive evaluation contingent to confirmation that this has been obtained.
Summary of the application flow:
1) Applications for data access submitted to Secretariat
- Feasibility/design issues: Secretariat advise suitability of applicants, with guidance from PI if necessary Secretariat (not forwarded to Committee)
2) Full applications: Secretariat assign 2 lead reviewers
3) All applications circulated to committee ahead of meeting for information
4) At meeting: lead reviewers present each application
5) Committee decides: accept; revise and resubmit; reject
6) Secretariat notify applicants
7) Ethical approval sought (ORCHID and primary research studies)
8) Study abstract published on website
9) Data transfer forms completed prior to secure transfer of data
How could this be of benefit to patients?
Committee members make an important contribution to ensuring the quality and robustness of all research studies using primary care data from the department, therefore, increasing the likelihood that these studies will go on to improve patient care in the NHS.