NHS Research Secure Data Environment Network

The NHS Research Secure Data Environment (SDE) Network is made up of 12 SDEs that provide secure access to healthcare data for research and innovation.

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The NHS Research Secure Data Environment (SDE) Network is made up of 12 SDEs that provide secure access to healthcare data for research and innovation.

Members of the network include the England SDE, which covers the whole of the country. There are then 11 regional SDEs: 

  • East Midlands
  • East of England
  • Kent, Medway, and Sussex
  • London
  • North East and North Cumbria
  • Great Western
  • North West
  • Thames Valley and Surrey
  • Wessex
  • West Midlands
  • Yorkshire and Humber

The network ensures there is secure access across England to health and social care data for approved research projects led by academics, industry organisations or NHS employees such as clinical researchers.

Secure Data Environments

In June 2022 the Data Saves Lives strategy committed to moving to a system of data access (rather than data being shared outside of NHS platforms) as the default way that NHS health and social care data is provided for research and analysis. The strategy committed to delivering improved secure access to NHS data for research through Secure Data Environments funded by the Data for Research and Development programme.

Storing data in SDEs enables the NHS to uphold the highest privacy and security standards. It also means that approved users can access data without it leaving the environment.

Investments in the NHS Research SDE Network are being designed to operate smoothly with one another, unified by a Community of Practice to inform Data Access Policy. This will build on previous investments including, where lawful, the use of information from shared care record solutions.

West Midlands SSE
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Secure Data Environments:

  • E England Population: 56.6m
  • EE East of England Population: 6.6m
  • EM East Midlands Population: 5.1m
  • GW Great Western Population: 5.2m
  • KMS Kent, Medway & Sussex Population: 3.8m
  • L London Population: 10.5m
  • NENC North East and North Cumbria Population: 3.2m
  • NW North West Population: 7.3m
  • TVS Thames Valley & Surrey Population: 3.9m
  • W Wessex Population: 2.8m
  • WM West Midlands Population: 6.2m
  • YH Yorkshire & Humber Population: 5.9m