chapter  10
31 Pages

Secondary analysis of administrative, routine and research data sources: Lessons from the UK

The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the potential for secondary analysis of ethnically coded administrative, routine and research data sources in the UK context. Historically, official sources of such information have been few. However, the situation is now changing with the adoption by government of ‘mainstreaming’ as a fundamental principle of its race1 and equal opportunities programmes (Alexander 1999). Such an agenda necessitates measures that are capable of uncovering disadvantage and racism where such processes may be insidious, hidden or identifiable only through analytic work. The implementation of race equality policies and assessment of their outcomes can only properly be undertaken if such policies are linked to appropriate ethnic data collection, making the mainstreaming of ethnic monitoring a logical extension of mainstreaming race equality. Recently, the Department of Health in England has made a commitment to the collection of ethnic origin information using the 2001 Census categories for all statistical datasets collected from the NHS (UK Parliament 2004). It states that this will be achieved by incorporating the collection of additional ethnic data items within existing collections.