We are deeply saddened by the recent deaths of George Floyd and so many others. It reminds us that prejudice and bigotry remain present in our society and institutions, and the UK is no exception.

As part of the UKRI community, we are acting on their 9 June statement.

We have launched a Diversity and Inclusion Policy that sets out actions we will take. Our organisation is weakened by a lack of diversity and we are missing out on talents and capabilities. Data is central to our work –but we know that the data we rely on is likely derived from insufficiently representative populations. We are therefore focusing our energies on diversity and inclusion of datasets for research and innovation and of people in the HDR UK community.

These actions are underpinned by a pledge to listen and to draw on our values of transparency, optimism, respect, courage and humility. We are setting up new channels of communication, with the option of anonymity, for people to share their thoughts and suggestions on how we can improve diversity and inclusion at Health Data Research UK. We also commit to publicly reporting back on the actions we are taking that will bring this statement to life.

This is a marathon, not a sprint–and we are committed to lasting change that will enable us to deliver better outcomes by bringing together a wide range of people, skills, ideas, opinions, beliefs and experiences.

Caroline Cake, CEO, and the Health Data Research Team