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NHSBSA launches new Open Data Portal

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

The NHSBSA Open Data Portal is being developed using ‘CKAN’, itself an open-source platform for sharing data originally developed by Open Knowledge International.

A wealth of valuable data is created from the £36 billion of NHS activity that NHSBSA administers, notably from primary care prescriptions. The launch of the new portal will allow easier access to some of this data.

The first dataset which will be made available in the new Open Data Portal 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), released by the NHSBSA, and the Practice Level Prescribing in England (PLP), previously released by NHS Digital.

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

Although NHSBSA has been working to make more data 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.”