The Kids’ Environment and Health cohort will contain de-identified data from schools, hospitals and community pharmacies, on health and education histories for all children born in England from 2006 onwards – around 11 million children. This data will be linked to information about their mothers’ health during pregnancy as well as data on local environments in and around children’s homes and schools.
The Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort will be used by researchers to answer important questions regarding how the local environment in and around children’s homes and schools affect their health and education as they grow up.
What data will be used to develop the database?
The project involves linking the following datasets:
A number of environmental datasets about small areas across England, on air pollution, energy efficiency of buildings, and proximity to major roads, will be linked to the de-identified health and education data.
The data will be linked subject to approvals from a number of committees, including the Confidentiality Advisory Group and an NHS Research Ethics Committee and agreements with each of the data providers: ONS, NHS England and the Department for Education.
The newly linked data resource will open opportunities for research that can inform government departments and local councils, as well as the public at large, about how changing local environments impact children’s health and education. It will also enable new insights into how well housing, environmental and planning policies are working to improve children’s lives.
In order to demonstrate how the Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort can be used, the team will carry out a research project to examine:
Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort cannot be used to identify individuals. However, it can tell us about groups or characteristics of children who might benefit from modification or adaptations to their physical or social environments.
The Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort will be held in the will be held by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in a Trusted Research Environment. You can read about Trusted Research Environments here: https://www.hdruk.ac.uk/access-to-health-data/trusted-research-environments/
All of the researchers accessing the Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort via the ONS will have been accredited and trained on how to handle data safely and ethically. Researchers will only be allowed to use the Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort to answer questions that will benefit the public which were agreed at the beginning of the project.