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National Survey for Wales

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Data linking

Data linking is the process of bringing together person-level records from different sources.

What are the benefits of data linking?

Linking information to other records:

  • reduces demands on people to take part in surveys such as the National Survey for Wales
  • greatly reduces the cost of collecting information
  • allows different types of information to be more readily available, and so allows research to be carried out more quickly
  • allows better use to be made of already existing information.

Data linking in the National Survey

The Health Information Research Unit (HIRU) for Wales is a research unit based at Swansea University. The core of HIRU’s work is linking information from a number of surveys and databases across Wales.

Respondents to the National Survey have their anonymised survey answers linked to other data sources by HIRU. Names, addresses and postcodes are not included in the linked data. The information is used for research purposes only.

Respondents are able to opt out of having their answers linked. This can be done when taking part in the survey, or afterwards by contacting Lisa Walters, in the Welsh Government’s National Survey project team, on 0300 025 6685 or by Email:

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