Planning & Funding: Central NHS & Government Data

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Introduction

This station details which bodies you need to approach if you would like to access government data for research.

England & Wales

NHS Digital (1st resource) holds data from a variety of national registries in England and Wales. Access to this data is via the Data Access Request Service (DARS) (2nd resource below). The DARS web pages provide access to a list of NHS Digital information, products and services. These include Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) (3rd resource), Mortality Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) (4th resource), Mental Health Minimum Data Set, patient status and tracking, bespoke data linkage services and many more. See Central NHS and other data approvals for more information.

Scotland

In Scotland, obtaining central NHS data such as that held by the Information Services Division (ISD) (5th resource) and data from National Records Scotland (6th resource), amongst others, requires application to the Public Benefits and Privacy Panel (7th resource). 

Full details of the kinds of data available for research are detailed on the eDRIS website (8th & 9th resources) and for example include:

  • National Data Catalogue (10th resource)
  • Data held by Administrative Data Research Network (11th resource)
  • Scottish Education Data – Scottish Government

Note: For access to patient information held within one NHS board in Scotland, advice should be sought from the individual Caldicott Guardian.

See Central NHS and other data approvals for more information.

Northern Ireland

Access to data held in Northern Ireland is controlled by the Privacy Advisory Committee (Northern Ireland) (12th resource).

See Central NHS and other data approvals for more information.

Resources

  • 1. NHS Digital: Contact details

    Initial enquiry point for access to NHS IT networks.

    Standard process for data Date added: 6 September 2007
  • 2. NHS Digital Data Access Request Service

    NHS Digital provides health information to support medical researchers.

    Standard process for data Date added: 26 September 2008
  • 3. HESonline

    Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) is the national statistical data warehouse for England of the care provided by NHS hospitals and for NHS hospital patients treated elsewhere. HES is the data source for a wide range of healthcare analysis for the NHS, government and many other organisations and individuals.

    Standard process for data Date added: 17 February 2009
  • 4. Mortality Data from Office of National Statistics

    Route of access to ONS mortality data

    Legal requirement for data Date added: 17 March 2015
  • 5. Information Services Division

    ISD provides health information, health intelligence, statistical services and advice that support the NHS

    Standard process for data Date added: 3 February 2016
  • 6. National Records of Scotland

    The purpose of NRS is to collect, preserve and produce information about Scotland's people and history and make it available to inform current and future generations.

    Standard process for data Date added: 3 February 2016
  • 7. Public Benefit and Privacy Panel for Health and Social Care

    Panel to review applications to use NHS Scotland originated data.

    Standard process for data Date added: 23 October 2015
  • 8. electronic Data Research and Innovation Service (eDRIS)

    Single point of contact to assist in the completion of applications to the Public Benefit and Privacy Panel.

    Standard process for data Date added: 23 October 2015
  • 9. electronic Data Research and Innovation Service (eDRIS) - FAQs

    List of Frequently Asked Questions to address key aspects of eDRIS.

    Standard process for data Date added: 22 October 2015
  • 10. National Data Catalogue

    The NDC details the full list of datasets that are held by ISD (Information Services Division - Scotland).

    Standard process for data Date added: 23 October 2015
  • 11. Administrative Data Research Network

    Service for researchers so they can carry out social and economic research using administrative data held by Government depatments.

    Standard process for data Date added: 23 October 2015
  • 12. HSC Privacy Advisory Committee, Northern Ireland

    HSC Privacy Advisory Committee, Northern Ireland

    Good practice for all research Date added: 3 February 2014