Constructing the entire care pathway of bowel cancer patients undergoing emergency surgery to improve care


Over 30,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer annually in England. 1 in 5 are diagnosed after an emergency hospital admission. Most of these require emergency surgery but this is high-risk as 1 in 8 patients die from surgery. To discover which aspects of care affect these patients' outcomes, information is required from several separate datasets.

However, linking together multiple datasets is not straightforward. We are developing improved methods for linking multiple datasets and identify aspects of care with the greatest impact on patient outcomes. Our findings will help hospitals and clinicians to improve care for patients undergoing emergency bowel surgery.


In September 2022, ARC and LSHTM researcher Helen Blake presented two oral presentations at the International Population Data Linkage Network conference in Edinburgh, on: 'Linkage of national clinical datasets without patient identifiers using probabilistic methods.' and 'Linkage of multiple electronic health record datasets using a "spine linkage" approach compared to all "pairwise linkages".

In July 2021, ARC and UCL researcher Helen Blake presented her poster 'Probabilistic linkage without person information successfully linked national clinical datasets' at the 42nd Conference of the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics (ISCB) 2021. View the poster

Partners & Collaborators

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng)

University College London (UCL)

Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre (ICNARC)

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT)

Lead Investigator
Kate Walker (LSHTM)
Jan van der Meulen (LSHTM)
Investigating Team
Katie Harron (UCL)
Linda Sharples (LSHTM)
David Cromwell (LSHTM)
David Harrison (ICNARC)
Ramani Moonesinghe (UCL)
Jim Hill (MFT)
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