COVID-19 Collaborative

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, in March 2020, NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh asked the DataLoch team to help in the production of a dedicated COVID-19 linked dataset to support immediate hospital-based service management and to provide a data asset for active and anticipated regional and national research into the outbreak.

The DataLoch Leadership Team agreed to extend the scope of Phase 1 to accommodate this work on 1 April 2020. DataLoch, working in collaboration with clinicians on NHS Lothian data within the NHS Lothian Safe Haven, has subsequently built a linked COVID-19 dataset which was released for use, via a controlled application process, on 30 April 2020.

This COVID-19 dataset is continuing to grow and develop, with several further iterations already delivered since the launch.

Combined routine, testing, and manually checked clinical data

Our COVID-19 dataset:

  • combines data from many sources including the hospital laboratory information system, electronic patient record, Scottish morbidity record, critical care audit and community prescribing information system
  • provides information on the indication for testing, symptoms (type and duration), and vulnerability to infection via a series of questions embedded in the order set for SARS-CoV-2 testing
  • includes manually collected data, from a clinical team, on all SARS-CoV-2-positive patients’ hospital episodes, including characterisation on presentation, risk scores, comorbidities, radiology investigations, treatments, complications, outcomes and cause of death.

An outline data map showing the breadth of data sources we have already included and are prioritising for inclusion in later updates is available here:

A full list of all data currently included in the COVID-19 dataset is available in our Data Dictionary.

Rapid evaluations, interdisciplinary research, supporting service and policy developments

Potential applications for these data include

  • Rapid evaluation of new diagnostic tests and pathways to improve and care and patient outcomes
  • Inter-disciplinary research and clinical trials
  • Supporting NHS Lothian (and, potentially, national) service and policy developments.

Is your work a priority?

DataLoch will expedite all requests that feed directly into the COVID-19 regional response for service and clinical priorities.

Requesting access

Accredited researchers and health and social care service managers can apply to access data from the DataLoch COVID-19 dataset.

We have a robust, but simple, 3 step process for others to apply for access.

Apply for access

Application form

To begin the process of accessing DataLoch data please download and complete the below form:

You may wish to refer to the Data Dictionary


When complete please email to

DataLoch COVID-19 Projects

DataLoch has already supported a number of important projects investigating COVID-19.


The rapid collection and linkage of data was made possible due to the extensive efforts of an interdisciplinary team.

Interested? Want to know more?

Register your interest in hearing first about future updates, and/or get in touch via email for the opportunity to discuss ideas with colleagues and the DataLoch team to understand what is possible.

Get in touch via email

Register to receive emailed updates from DataLoch