Freedom of Information Request

Data linkage practices

Received: 15 February 2023

I would like to submit a freedom of information request regarding your council's data linkage practices.

Data linkage (also known as matching, entity resolution or record linkage) is the process of joining data sets through deciding whether two records, in the same or different data sets, belong to the same entity (Harron et al., 2016).

Data linkage provides insight, informs policy change and helps answer society's most important questions through increasing the utility of administrative data. However, linkage presents challenges, as discussed in the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) 2018 report on joining up data, and more work needs to be done to realise its full benefit.

My colleages and I are leading commissioned research that involves the linking of education (school census), social care (child in need census) and health data sets within NHS digital. I am interested to find out how many other local authority areas are linking data on children and young people and the barriers and enablers to the process.

1. Do you currently link your education and social care data for children and young people?
Y/N/in development

2. Which of your datasets are you linking? please state all the apply
School census
Children in Need (CiN) census
Children looked after return SSDA903 data collection
Other (please specify)

3. Which groups of children and young people do you link data on? Select all that apply
Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
Children in Need
Children looked after (care experienced)
Children and young people on Free School Meals
All children and young people
Other (please specify)

4. How are you using the linked data?
Strategic planning
Data dashboard
Joint commissioning
Service review
Targeted interventions (individuals)
Other (please specify)
We aren't using linked data

6. Do you currently link local authority data sets for children and young people with health data sets? Y/N/in development

7. Which health data sets are you linking with education and or social care? Select all that apply
Primary care (GP data)
Community Services Data Set (CSDS)
Secondary care (CAMHS)
Children and Young Peoples Service (CYPS)
Accident and Emergency data
Secondary Uses Services (SUS) also known as HES (Hospital Episode Statistics)
Community Services Datasets (CSDS)
Child Health Records
Other (please specify)

Outcome / Documents

  • Response (all information to be supplied) - application/pdf - Download