National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

National Health Service Central Register

National Health Service Central Register

How is the Register used for Medical Research?

Because it is a comprehensive list of NHS patients, and can 'flag' records of people who have had cancer, or are taking part in research projects, so that researchers can keep track of their progress, the Register is an important source of medical research information. All requests to use the NHSCR database for medical research purposes are submitted to a Public Benefit and Privacy Panel. The principal function of this advisory committee is to protect the privacy of patients, while recognising the need for controlled access to records by researchers and those involved in health administration for well-defined and bona fide purposes, subject to appropriate safeguards to maintain confidentiality.

Information about how to use the Register for medical research purposes is also available on our website.