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Opening the black box of record linkage
  1. Katie Harron1,
  2. Angie Wade1,
  3. Berit Muller-Pebody2,
  4. Harvey Goldstein1,
  5. Ruth Gilbert1
  1. 1Institute of Child Health, University College London, London UK
  2. 2Healthcare Associated Infection, Health Protection Agency, London UK
  1. Correspondence to Katie Harron, Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK; k.harron{at}

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The UK government's plan for a secure data service—Strengthening the international competitiveness of UK life sciences research—will transform the availability of linked electronic health records to support service provision, planning and research. In April 2012, the new Clinical Practice Research Datalink was established to provide linked national e-health records, facilitating large-scale, population-based research and service evaluation.

Such comprehensive data-linkages have been successfully established in other areas, notably in Western Australia, where a code of best practice …

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  • Funding This study was supported by NIHR HTA.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.