Community forum
This is an open space to discuss health research topics, feedback on the Gateway functionality and comment on resources such as datasets. Everyone is welcome to join existing discussions or start a new topic.

About the Development and Improvement Group

A group of volunteers who join design sessions and provide feedback to help ensure the Innovation Gateway is useful and easy to use.

Only group members can reply to posts. Anyone can request to join via emailing


The Innovation Gateway (the ‘Gateway’) is a portal to discover and enquire about access to UK health datasets for research and innovation. The Gateway does not hold or store any datasets or patient or health data but provides detailed information about the datasets, which are held by members of the UK Health Data Research Alliance, such as a description, size of the population, and the legal basis for access. The Gateway also includes the ability to search for research projects, publications, courses and health data tools.

The Gateway is managed by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK), the national institute for Health Data Science in the UK, which aims to unite the UK’s health data to enable discoveries that improve people’s lives. PA Consulting are our technology partner, helping to design and deliver new Gateway developments.

Aim of the Group

The Gateway is constantly in development and it is key for us to have input and feedback from a broad range of audiences to ensure the site works and is engaging for all potential users.

Whilst we always welcome user feedback via our community forum, it is also useful for us to interact with users in specific sessions and workshops, particularly around new Gateway features we are in the process of designing and improving. We have run these sessions with a variety of users in the past but going forward we now have the formalised ‘Gateway Development and Improvement Group’. Involving members from this group for design workshops and sessions will allow for continuity, an engaged network we can grow and also recognition for the invaluable help and feedback members provide for us.

We will ensure the group includes a range of different perspectives and members from diverse backgrounds and experiences. The group is not exclusive and we welcome anyone who is interested in taking part in design sessions and activities to join.

The design sessions and Group Member responsibilities

We run 3 types of design sessions for the Gateway:

  1. Before design phase: you can join our Ideation workshops, these are group calls where we discuss what we want from features

  2. During design phase: you can join Design reviews, these are group calls where you can give feedback while designs are still in progress

  3. After design phase: you can join Usability Testing sessions, these are dedicated 1-2-1 session where we show you a prototype and ask for your opinion

We will also provide opportunities via this forum for members to provide feedback on our design prototypes

What we expect from group members

  • Join 2-3 sessions per year or more, depending on your availability
  • Giving feedback on prototypes via commenting on the community forum when applicable
  • No experience necessary

By joining our group you will be signed up to a mailing list where we will send emails once a month about opportunities to take part in any of the sessions above. We will provide a description of the session and details around dates, times etc. As we need different audiences and different numbers of participants depending on the sessions we may not always select you, even if you have expressed interest, but will do our best to ensure you get to attend the majority of sessions you’re interested in. We will also provide links to this forum in the email where you can comment on and provide feedback on prototypes listed there, outside of formal sessions.

We recognise group members will be taking part on a voluntary basis and will often have time constraints, however as a guide we would expect members to be attending 2 or 3 sessions a year. We welcome members to stay part of the group as long as they would like and they are welcome to withdraw at any time.

We may send last-minute invitations, or reschedule meetings at short notice. We’ll always notify you as soon as possible of any changes.


  • Your profile will be featured on our website as a member
  • Access to our members-only community page
  • Input into designs at early stages and opportunity to shape the future of the Gateway

Whilst we are unfortunately unable to give any monetary remuneration, we hope being a part of the Gateway Development and Improvement Group will provide an interesting insight into the design and development processes for the Gateway and technology and innovation products in general.

We will be creating a page on the Gateway in the near future to list and help recognise all our Gateway Development and Improvement Group members. We are also planning member only demos and updates on the Gateway, alongside options of attending our Open Door sessions and joining our Gateway specific mailing list for more general updates.

Do get in touch if you think there are any other benefits you feel would be good for us to offer.


To get in touch with any questions or queries about the group, please contact Vicky Hellon, Gateway Content and Community Lead at