Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage Study

Key information

Key information about the SHELS project.

What does SHELS stand for?

Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage Study

Who is involved?

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • National Records Scotland
  • NHS Information Services Division

Which healthcare areas were chosen?

  • cardiovascular disease
  • cancer
  • mental health
  • maternal and child health
  • respiratory diseases
  • gastrointestinal diseases
  • all deaths across Scotland (2001 to 2013)
  • all hospital admissions
  • infectious and parasitic diseases
  • accidents and poisonings
  • up take of bowel cancer screening

Why were these healthcare areas chosen?

"Towards a Healthier Scotland" identified these areas as important.

What about ethical approval for this work?

Multicentre Research Ethics Committee for Scotland, Privacy Advisory Committee of NHS National Services Scotland, Community Health Index Advisory Group and Caldicott Guardian have all approved this work.

How is the research to be conducted?

The data analysis plan (DAP) gives details of the analysis objectives, questions and hypotheses, diagnoses and diagnostic codes (ICD), inclusion and exclusion criteria and methods. Providing this clear plan of action is important for research integrity and quality and also guards against data-driven results.

How will this help Scotland?

The results of this study will help to tackle health inequalities in a number of ways. It can help encourage researchers to further explore reasons for ethnic variations and lead to a better understanding of the whole population and better care where needed.

Who has funded this research?

  • Scottish Executive
  • Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government
  • British Lung Foundation
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Health Protection Scotland
  • NHS Health Scotland

How long will the project continue for?

SHELS 4 is currently funded until September 2016.