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C&I research database

Our research database supports population based research in psychiatry/mental health within the Trust and its partner research organisation; University College London (UCL). The database provides direct clinical benefit to patients because it enables better clinical audit and NHS service development.

How does it work?

Information from C&I NHS clinical records is fed into the research database via a system that removes information which could identify an individual. This database of anonymised data is accessible only to approved researchers within C&I and its partner research organisations. It may be used for population-based research projects such as looking for links between family history and particular illnesses. For this kind of research, the researchers won't know who any patient is, and so patients will not be approached for their permission. 

Future development of the database will add capabilities so that researchers working on ethically approved research projects can also search the database to find patients who might fit their study's criteria. Patients will be able to express an "approach mode" deciding if they wish to allow approved researchers to view their records and/or contact them about projects that may be relevant. This will substantially improve opportunities for patients to participate directly in research, and will contribute to improving future management of mental health.

Get involved

To find out more about the part your medical records play in the role of the C&I research database and how to get involved, go to our page for services users.

To find out more about using the C&I Research Database for research, go to our page for clinicians and researchers.


Over the last five years this system has been used by researchers with great success. For example, this method revealed the high mortality and lowered average life expectancy in people with serious mental health problems.

The research database is part of a national programme launched by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). As well as C&I, the other participating trusts are: Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (who developed the database system originally), West London Mental Health NHS Trust, and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.  


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