NHS-R Community


July 5, 2024


Welcome to the NHS-R Community Way book to the NHS-R Community based on The Turing Way guides and Community Handbook. Like The Turing Way, this is an open source, open collaboration, and community-driven project. We are called NHS-R Community but our contributors come from Local Authorities, Civil Service, Public Sector, Academia, Voluntary Sector, Charities and as individuals with no organisational connection. Our goal is to promote R - extended to data science tools - and to do this in an open way by supporting and promoting open code sharing which includes other media content like videos of our workshops and conferences.

Contact us

The NHS-R Community can be found on Slack and the core development team through the email nhs.rcommunity@nhs.net.

Where to start?

This book is not meant to be read from start to finish and we recommend that you read the Code of Conduct first.

Other books!

This is a book about the NHS-R Community, how it works and its values.

We have a book to help with technical resources and experiences getting started with open source programs called Statement on Tools and a book for Open Analytic Resource links started by AphA in 2020.

The training book contains NHS-R Community training materials.

Our Community

The NHS-R Community started in 2018 to promote the use of R in the NHS and the community has grown rapidly ever since. It is a community that is broader than the NHS as members come from public sector organisations across the UK, including Local Authorities and Civil Service, as well as academics and voluntary sector people who have an interest in healthcare. Whilst R is a core language for support by the community, there is always support for data science tools more generally, particularly where they cross over with R.

Documentation is important in coding to show methodology as well as intention so the NHS-R Community Way, inspired from The Turing Way, is our attempt to write about the Community.

The NHS-R Community Way reflects our:

  • values
  • activities
  • above all the community

Everything here is available for free under a CC0 1.0 licence. Please use and re-use whatever you need, for any purpose and all the book is collaboratively written and open from the start. To make this book and the community truly accessible to everyone, we invite you to contribute your skills and bring your perspectives into this project. Write and issue, do a pull request or even the core development team.

The NHS-R Community initially received funding for its activities but is now completely reliant upon volunteers. There is no restriction to who you work for, what your background is or what skills you have as we are the sum of all our parts and the more diverse and varied we are, the better our work together will be. The NHS-R Community is now hosted by the Strategy Unit, part of NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit, which includes some administrative support, the hosting of an nhs.net email and two data scientists roles with NHS-R Community in their job descriptions. Over the years the NHS-R Community has been involved in many activities from blogs to podcasts.

We value the participation of every member of our community and want to ensure that every contributor has an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Accordingly, everyone who participates in the NHS-R Way project is expected to show respect and courtesy to other community members at all times. All contributions must abide by our code of conduct.


This book is based on The Turing Way book which was started as a technical guide. Like the NHS-R Community projects we also have a need to pull together information on how to contribute to the projects but not all our projects are technical. As a community we have developed many channels of collaboration and communication through blogs, social media, podcasts and videos. This content needs a central point to promote it but also a way to explain how to get involved and contribute at whatever stage in your data science journey - hence the NHS-R Community way.

Citing the NHS-R Community Way

All material produced and shared by the NHS-R Community is available under open licences for reuse and this book is available under a CC0 1.0 licence. We ask that you also read and, maybe, also refer to The Turing Way project in your work as it was immensely helpful in getting this project set up and is a great resource worthy of continued citation.