What makes our data unique?


PIONEER includes de-identified/pseudonymised data from patients who were seen by an acute care provider from 1st January 2000 and will include data from patients until the project closes (2025 at the earliest).

Data quality

PIONEER cleans the data that is received by its NHS partners in order to improve the consistency, usability and quality.

Data cleansing in PIONEER is a complex procedure involving multiple stages. Our data processing and submission pipeline consists of the following:

  • Monitor errors – the removal of malformed data fields and applying de-duplication rules
  • Standardise – mapping of data values and concepts into existing ontologies (such as SNOMED, OPCS or ICD10), and conversion of data into standard data formats (such as FHIR, HL7 and/or loading into OpenEHR)
  • Validation – ensure the data structures’ compliance with any expected international standards, as well as more general quality such as checking data lie within expected bounds

Data linkage

PIONEER links acute care health data at the individual patient level from community and hospital healthcare providers. This provides, for the first time, a record of the journeys people undertake when they have unplanned health concerns.

West Midlands diversity

1.14m people live in Birmingham according to the 2018 mid-year population estimates.

  • 22.8% (259,000) are children
  • 64.3% (731,500) are of working age
  • 13.0% (147,900) are pensioners

Birmingham is home to one of the youngest urban populations in Europe, 37.7% of Birmingham’s population was under the age of 15.

Birmingham is proud to be one of the UK’s most diverse cities. 42.1% of Birmingham’s population is non-white, whereas the average for England is 14.6%.

However, the West Midlands region faces significant health challenges that impact on regional productivity. Life span is reduced by 1.4 years in females and 1.9 years in males when compared to the south east of the UK.

Health span (years spent in good health) is even further reduced with 66.8% of the region population being obese or overweight.

Consequently, many in the West Midlands experience a high burden of cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes, often at an earlier age than the general population.

Data from Birmingham City Council and the 2011 Census Profile for Birmingham.

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