Supporting research teams

The RSC is a resource which can support a wide range of research and surveillance studies (qualitative; quantitative; retrospective; prospective etc.).

What we can offer

  • Near real-time England population health data - with twice weekly data extractions, the dataset is one of the most up to date in the UK
  • Longitudinal and representative data - The RCGP RSC is the oldest sentinel network in Europe and is representative of the English population on a variety of domains, both demographic and clinical
  • High quality-assured data - RSC practices receive continuous support and training by a dedicated team of Practice Liaison Officers. Practice members also have access to personalised dashboard, which shows an aggregated version of their data by week and compared with the rest of the network.
  • Data linkage capability – the RSC team have the capability to link to numerous other health datasets, via pseudonymised NHS numbers. NB: researchers must obtain other datasets separately
  • Direct link with our practices – Our Practice Liaison team have direct link with our practices, who are willing to administer questionnaires, take biological samples, put on focus groups, and take part in trials. The network can participate in research, quality improvement and surveillance beyond providing data.
  • Concierge services – these will be tailored to your needs and will help you prepare and fast-track your data application. 

If you are looking to run a study that requires more than data, associated costs can be built in. Please contact for more information.

Our data

We extract pseudonymised coded data twice-weekly from >1700 general practices in England (>4 million patient records).

The RCGP RSC database contains pseudonymised coded data from primary care practices capturing information on:

  • Demographics
  • Diagnoses and symptoms
  • Drug exposures
  • Vaccination history
  • Laboratory tests
  • Referrals to hospital and specialist care 

RCGP RSC can be used for

Scope and scale of RCGP RSC data

Retrospective research using its data


>63 million records uploaded each week

Prospective research in volunteer practices, including quality improvement interventions and pragmatic trials


<13 million patients ever

Linkage studies – an approved pseudonymisation technique is used, and linking to hospital, death, or other data is possible


>4.2 billion encounters

Machine learning or advanced analytics can be sited within the secure network


>1.8 billion prescriptions

Creation of observatories or weekly reports about a particular illness or health area.


>89 million BP recordings

Fill in a data request form to submit a data request.

RCGP have produced a guidance document RCGP Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) Data Application Guidance (215 KB DOC).

The item has been added to your basket.

Continue shopping

Go to basket

This item is out of stock.

Continue shopping

The item is out of stock.

Yes Continue shopping

An error occurred adding your item to the basket:

Continue shopping