NHSDataDictionaRy – R package launch and how to use it

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The NHS-R community commissioned a package at the start of the year to address the need to pull lookups real time from the NHS Data Dictionary website. I thought this would be a good package, but what I have included, in addition, is the ability to scrape tables and text from any website.

What are the benefits of the NHSDataDictionaRy

In the presentation I highlight the benefits as hereunder:

But, the benefits of the package outweigh what is available here, as this allows for the scraping of content from ANY website and is a simpler function wrapper, than the native xml2 and rvest tools.

How do I use it?

The webinar, undertaken with the NHS-R Community, shows how to use the package to its fullest extend and takes you through all the core functionality of the tool. Watch below:

Where do I get the content?

The content of the webinar is found in the supporting places:

  • NHS R webinar support GitHub
  • NHSDataDictionaRy GitHub – which shows you how to install and the associated package vignettes
  • Supporting Vignette for the YouTube post

Future developments

The NHSDataDictionaRy has plans to include:

  • Simplified helper functions for more easy access to the NHS Data Dictionary lookups
  • Additional lookups to be added

Package proposals

If you work for the NHS – then the NHS-R community is giving out grants for new packages. Find out more –> https://nhsrcommunity.com/nhs-r-solutions/.


The package development was really fun and the downloads of the package are starting to take off. Furthermore, the package will be posted back on to CRAN in May, when the updates have been made available.

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