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NHS Business Services Authority to launch Open Data Portal

By the end of March 2020, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) will launch its Open Data Portal (ODP), giving everyone, from NHS commissioners to the public, easy access to data.

The ODP is being developed using ‘CKAN’, an open source platform for sharing data originally developed by Open Knowledge International.

A wealth of data is created from the £36 billion of NHS activity that NHSBSA administrators undertake, notably from primary care prescriptions. The launch of the ODP will allow easier access to this data.

The first dataset to become available in the ODP is prescribing information for GP Practices and Cost Centres in England.

This is a new dataset, which combines two previous releases – Detailed Prescribing Information (DPI) and the Practice Level Prescribing in England (PLP).

The new portal will provide an application programming interface (API) where users can make queries on the data through the software of their choice. This will help people to use and reuse the data that is available.

Although this development makes NHS data more accessible, patient confidentiality will be protected and details will be kept secure.

Darren Curry, chief digital officer at NHSBSA, said: “We’re committed to making data open and the launch of our new Open Data portal, developed using Open Source software, is an important first step on this journey.

“We recognise that through greater transparency and making more of our data open, we can inspire choice and increase accountability. We strive to make more of our data open, encourage use, and re-use while protecting the confidentiality of patients by keeping their data secure.

“The more data that we make available, the more we can help the wider health service. Our new Open Data Portal will allow data to be more easily compared, contrasted and challenged. We hope that it will help to provide new insights.”