Register your practice to make change happen

Our Future Health is bringing together five million people from across the UK to create an incredibly detailed picture of the nation’s health.

The programme is focused on addressing health inequalities whilst developing advancements across genomic medicine, more personalised care and disease understanding. Future generations from all backgrounds can live in good health for longer.

As a practice, you can drive forwards the national programme by registering to give your patients the opportunity to volunteer by hearing about the programme via SMS.

Register now

practices joined us!

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Why should I get my practice involved?

As healthcare professionals, we join the NHS with a shared goal to advance healthcare as we know it and make positive change happen for others. 

Registering your practice ensures your patients are fully represented in the largest research data set of our time. You are giving your patients the ability to help future generations live healthier and longer lives.

And, in time, you will be able to make anonymised data requests to understand the health of your local population.

It's simple and easy to support:

Step 1: Register your practice.

Step 2: Have 5-minute set-up call.

Step 3: We do the rest.

Register Now
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How is patient data governed and managed?

All data will be stored and managed securely and to the highest professional standards, in compliance with data protection laws.

Privacy and data security are of critical importance to Our Future Health. Information that is shared by people who join the programme will be stored securely and used to understand health and disease.

Only patients who have consented to receive SMS will be contacted. iPLATO is an ‘Approved Service Recipient’ and is registered as a Commercial Third Party (CTP) supplier to the NHS with NSHX DTAC Approval. iPLATO acts as a data processor for this service: all data is processed within the HSCN network.

Read more in FAQs
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How will this impact my practice?

There is no noticeable increase on practice workload.

Based on 600,000 patients volunteering, practices have seen an average of 1 to 2 patients contacting their practice following their Our Future Health clinic appointment.

These are patients who:

  • have total cholesterol greater than 9.0 (if over 30) or 7.5 (if under 30).
  • have a very high blood pressure reading (usually considered to be 180/110mmHg or higher).

By NHS GP, Dr Harpreet Sood

Our Future Health is a pioneering health research programme, bringing together the public, charities and private sector in a bid to prevent, detect and treat disease. Aiming to become the largest UK medical research programme ever, it offers something for everyone: volunteers gain insight into their own health, whilst providing researchers with crucial data which will enable GPs to adjust the advice or treatments we give, based on our individual patient demographics. Whilst past research tells us most diseases start years before becoming symptomatic, the data collected by Our Future Health provides an opportunity to explore how to diagnose earlier and more effectively. As noted by Professor Sir John Bell, Chairman of Our Future Health, “It is during those initial periods [of an illness] that you really have the opportunity to make a difference.”

From a GP’s perspective, the programme is a significant opportunity to improve our understanding of our local patient populations and develop care to address their needs. I am advocating for others around the country to get behind this programme which is set to change the future of healthcare as we know it.

My ask to fellow GPs: 

Both the goal and potential impact of the Our Future Health programme are clear – just read some of the comments below. Only with support from GPs, like you, can we better engage with all patients including those from diverse communities, to better tackle health inequalities. Significant findings are already being discovered and we must ensure they are a true representation of all areas of the UK. By registering your practice, you are ensuring your patients are represented in the largest data set of our time, whilst also giving your practice and patients the opportunity to help future generations live healthier and longer on account of our research. Join leaders from across the country by registering your practice here.

Best wishes,

Dr Harpreet Sood

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Join forces to tackle health inequalities

Dr Ananta DaveChief Medical Officer for the Black Country ICB
Dr Ananta Dave, Chief Medical Officer for the Black Country ICB, noted the importance of the programme in recognising “health inequalities faced by people and communities in the Black Country and Birmingham.” These inclusions of data sets from across the country will be imperative in learning more about areas where health deprivation is a significant issue.
Dr David CrichtonChief Medical Officer of South Yorkshire ICB
Dr David Crichton also identifies a “correlation between deprivation and diseases such as cancer, respiratory, cardiovascular, stroke and dementia” in his local area of Doncaster. As Chief Medical Officer of the South Yorkshire Integrated Care board and a fellow practising GP, Crichton understands his local population and that “too many people spend years in ill health”, a fact highlighted by Our Future Health. These findings are corroborated by the NHS’s national formula to target health inequality, as 37% of South Yorkshire’s population live in the 20% most deprived areas of the UK.
Dr Chris MacDonaldPancreatic Cancer UK
Dr Chris MacDonald, of the charity Pancreatic Cancer UK praised the programme, saying it was especially exciting for his organisation, with pancreatic cancer frequently being detected too late for treatment. He highlighted the potential in “valuable insight into the health of the nation over time…and study the signals present in blood samples even many years before diagnosis.”
Professor Nilesh SamaniMedical Director at the British Heart Foundation
Following 500,000 people joining Our Future Health (as of July 2023), around 1 in 4 were found to have high blood pressure, whilst over half had high total cholesterol levels. Professor Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation explained that these statistics supported previous estimates which show that millions in the UK live with undetected high blood pressure and raised cholesterol levels, which Samani explains “can put them at significant risk of heart attack or stroke.” Indeed, according to the Royal College of Physicians sentinel stroke national audit in 2016, high blood pressure is associated with 50% of heart attacks and strokes. Samani goes on to say that “Tackling these treatable silent killers must remain a priority if we are to prevent people suffering or dying needlessly.” He believes that Our Future Health has the potential to “power the next breakthroughs in cardiovascular medicine.”
Dr Anisha Patelvolunteer
Dr Anisha Patel, previously diagnosed with bowel cancer, volunteered for Our Future Health “so others don’t suffer like I did”. She believes that the work the programme is conducting will help to develop better treatments of the disease, and “bring us closer to a world where early detection is commonplace.” Even in the absence of symptoms, the condition can worsen, much like Dr Patel, who exhibited symptoms that as a practicing GP, she was able to find reasonable explanations for changes she saw other than bowel cancer. Despite not falling into the age bracket most at risk of bowel cancer, no history of the disease in her family and the healthy lifestyle she lived, there was no reason to suspect that was what she was suffering from.
Dr Shital Shaha GP partner at Balham Park Surgery, South West London ICB
According to Dr Shital Shah, a GP partner at Balham Park Surgery, “The registration process was simple and wasn’t too long to complete either, it took around 5 to 10 minutes… we have given our patients the opportunity to take part and are pleased to see great uptake. There has been no noticeable increase in calls or demand for our team to deal with”. When asked why he was one of the first practices to sign up, he stated simply, "I became a GP to help improve the health of others"
Dr Francis AndrewsMedical Director at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
Praised the initiative, calling it “a golden opportunity to help those less represented in health research”. Andrews, who is the Medical Director at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, drew particular attention to concerns over data protection, stating that data collected through the initiative is kept “secure and anonymised”, upholding data protection laws to the highest standards.
Professor Will Dixonof Digital Epidemiology, Greater Manchester
With over 600,000 volunteers already involved, the traction of the programme is exponential and nationwide. Healthcare professionals across the country are encouraging involvement in their communities. Professor Will Dixon of Digital Epidemiology praised the programme’s work so far. He said: “The work Our Future Health is doing will change the face of modern medicine”. Since the launch of the initiative in the Northwestern region, Dixon (a professor at the University of Manchester) has given his total support, adding that he personally wants to see “Greater Manchester leading the change”.
Dr Roshan SivaAssociate Medical Director, Croydon
Dr Roshan Siva, Associate Medical Director for Research and Development at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust recognised the work of Our Future Health and its potential impact on the local population through a collaborative effort. Siva explains that “we can use important health data to ensure the right health screening checks are offered to the right people, at the right time.”
Colette Marshall- Director of Operations at Diabetes UK
Director of Operations at Diabetes UK, Colette Marshall, is encouraging involvement in Our Future Health to learn more about diabetes and start diagnosing patients earlier. She explains that patient contribution “could help researchers find better ways to pick up all types of diabetes earlier and novel approaches to spotting who is at risk.”
Dr Richard FrancisHead of Research at the Stroke Association
Head of Research at the Stroke Association, Dr Richard Francis explains “Up to 90% of strokes are preventable”. Francis goes on to say, of the work at Our Future Health, that “a study of this scale has the potential to tell us so much about two of the most common risk factors of strokes”, initial data “has uncovered information that would normally be very challenging to identify”.
Dr Sukhvinder Nijar Nicklen- volunteer
GP and Our Future Health volunteer, Dr Sukhvinder Nijar Nicklen, comments, “Genetically, we [the South Asian Community] are more predisposed to some issues, we saw it with COVID.” Along with personal experience parenting a child with undiagnosed health concerns, Nijar Nicklen saw Our Future Health as “an opportunity for us all to help each other in the long-term,” she was one of the programme’s first public volunteers in 2022. The research will contribute to the genetic analysis necessary to improve diagnoses, especially among groups who are at a greater risk of developing the illness as well as its associated complications.

    Volunteer Process

    If a patient chooses to participate in the Our Future Health research programme, they will be asked to:

    • Answer an online questionnaire

    • Give permission to securely link to their health records

    • Book an appointment at one of the local clinics to provide a blood sample and have some physical measurements taken (including blood pressure, pulse rate, height, and weight).

    • Some patients may also be invited to have a finger-prick blood test to check their cholesterol and blood sugar.