National COVID-19 Chest Imaging Database (NCCID)

NHSX has set up a national database to support better understanding of COVID-19 and develop technology enabling the best care for patients hospitalised with a severe infection.

Radiologists looking at a chest scan
Image courtesy of Cambridge University Hospitals

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The National COVID-19 Chest Imaging Database (NCCID) is part of the AI in Imaging programme at the NHS AI Lab. It is a centralised UK database containing chest X-ray (CXR), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) images from hospital patients across the country. The database was created to support a better understanding of the COVID-19 virus and develop technology which will enable the best care for patients hospitalised with a severe infection. It is a joint initiative established by NHSX, the British Society of Thoracic Imaging (BSTI), Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust and Faculty.

The benefits of collecting chest imaging data are extensive. This data has the potential to enable faster patient assessment in A&E, save radiologists’ time, increase the safety and consistency of care across the country, and ultimately save lives. It is being made available to researchers, clinicians, technology companies and all those wanting to investigate the disease and develop solutions that can support the COVID-19 patient care pathway. 

The research enabled by the chest imaging database will provide information and tools that, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, support:

  • the determination of disease severity
  • clinically useful diagnosis and prognosis
  • patient triage and management
  • decision making.

How do I provide data?

We have worked closely with Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust to scale up an existing data collection process used to gather mammography data for research. This technology de-identifies the data at the point of collection, so that the centralised data warehouse will only store de-identified data.

Another advantage of this solution is that it uses an existing clinical system, the image exchange portal (IEP). This is beneficial as the processes for transferring images via IEP are well known and robust.


For further information on the data collection process, please refer to the information on the NCCID web portal

If you have any questions regarding participation in the data collection process, please contact

How do I request access to the database?

Access to the database can be provided to those wanting to investigate COVID-19 and develop solutions that support patient care.


You can find more information on the categories of data collected and how to access the database on the NHSX GitHub website.

How can I apply to performance-test my AI model?

A portion of the database has been set aside to provide a previously unused (unseen) dataset that can be used to validate, or test, the performance of AI models. Testing against unseen data is important to ensure that the test is fair and unbiased. Research institutions and technology companies that have been developing AI models using COVID-19 chest X-ray data can apply to have their model’s performance assessed using NCCID data.

The representative nature of the data set gives researchers and technology companies the confidence that the results of the test will be a good reflection of how their model might perform in a real world healthcare setting. This in turn allows the public to trust in the safety and efficacy of these AI technologies should they eventually be deployed in the NHS.


Find out more about how to apply to performance-test your COVID-19 AI model.