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Clinical Effectiveness Group

East London Database

The East London Database is an annual snapshot of data that contains basic health and demographic information for all 2.2 million people registered with a GP practice in North East London. 

The data is extracted from GP electronic health records from across the North East London NHS region on 1 April each year. To do this, we currently use CEG’s copy of the Discovery Data Service.  

We work with local authority public health analysts to agree which data are included in the database, and to develop ways that local authorities, NHS commissioners and third-party researchers can access the data securely. 

What it includes 


  • Organisation: Practice, Primary Care Network, NHS Area, LSOA, Ward and Borough 
  • Person: Age, sex, ethnic group and local IMD deprivation quintile 

Health data 

  • Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF): All 20 QOF disease registers, eg diabetes, asthma, stroke, obesity 
  • Screening: Bowel, breast and cervical cancer, and NHS Health Check 
  • Infectious disease & immunisation: HIV, sexually transmitted infections and Covid vaccination 
  • Reproductive health: Long-acting contraception 
  • Process Measures: Blood pressure, BMI, serum cholesterol, creatinine eGFR, and HbA1c; QRisk, FEV1, frailty and pulse check 
  • Medication: Statins 
  • Lifestyle and health: Smoking, alcohol and substance misuse 

Geographic coverage 

There is an East London Database snapshot for every year since 2010. From 2010-2020, the datasets include data from practices using the EMIS GP record system which comprise 95% of the practices in the four inner-east London areas of City and Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. From 1 April 2021 onwards, we were also able to include the remaining small number of practices using the SystmOne GP electronic record system and extend across the whole North East London NHS region to include all practices in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge.  


The data is held on an MS SQL Server database and is accessed via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) from authorised devices. Accredited users are typically named data analysts working for local authorities, or NHS Commissioners. CEG provides guidance in the safe use of data and data governance, and the data is queried and extracted for specific and agreed purposes.

In some instances, CEG can develop bespoke summary reports in collaboration with local authorities or other accredited third-party users.  

Data governance 

Accredited users of the East London Database must agree the purpose of their use of the data with CEG. Onward uses of the data for additional purposes are not permitted unless agreed with us. Accredited users must also agree to maintain CEG’s governance standards. These include: not reporting patient numbers fewer than five, to ensure individuals cannot be identified by the uniqueness of their circumstances, and limiting publication of sensitive data such as sexually transmitted infection.   

CEG data governance standards adhere to Office for National Statistics data standards for data reporting.  

About the data extraction 

Until 2019, all GP practices used Read codes to code patient information in their records. After 2019, they switched to SNOMED coding. This required CEG to re-write all East London Database extraction scripts in SNOMED to make the definitions as consistent as possible over time.  

In 2021, the Discovery Data Service replaced direct EMIS searches as the source of data for the East London Database. This allowed us to incorporate data from practices using SystmOne as well as from EMIS. 

Resources for existing users

Connecting to the ELDB Server.pdf [PDF 1,047KB]

Visual Basic Script for MS [1KB]

Updating ELDB content (MS Access).pdf [PDF 191KB]

ELDB 2023 Data and Schema.pdf [PDF 643KB]

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