Nicola is the Head of Understanding Patient Data, an independent initiative hosted at the NHS Confederation which aims to make the way health data is used more visible, transparent and trustworthy, for patients, the public and health professionals.
She is on a secondment from the UK Health Security where she led health data projects for infectious diseases such as mpox, avian flu and Covid-19. Nicola hasn’t always worked in data; she graduated from Durham University with a degree in English Literature and Spanish before teaching English as a foreign language in Spain. However, on her return to the UK she worked in a Citizens Advice Bureau where she provided advice to local community members and analysed the service’s data, and then moved into the Civil Service through the Civil Service Fast Stream, where she often found herself working on large data programmes. This is where her passion for data and public engagement met.
Nicola’s work with Connected By Data will explore how to involve communities in narratives, practices and policies about health data at a time where there is significant transformation taking place, particularly in the NHS. This will involve learning from good practice within the domestic healthcare sector as well as from other sectors and internationally.