What is it?
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, in collaboration with the Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, began an ambitious itinerary of work in 2011 to develop a Safe Haven to compliment this national programme and develop a physical and electronic area that provides the required levels of security to support access to local healthcare data for service and research purposes.
A Safe Haven, in terms of NHS data, is a secure physical location and agreed set of administrative arrangements that are in place within the organisation to ensure confidential personal information is communicated safely and securely. It is a safeguard for confidential information which is being used for research purposes. Any researchers applying for access to health data must adhere to the Safe Haven principles.
What does it do?
Safe Haven has various services but it primarily stores large data sets which can be accessed for clinical research. There are three different data set tiers:
- Tier 1 datasets are those which are generically/nationally collected datasets used in everyday health care (such as SCI Store and SMR). These are available to all approved projects where needed.
- Tier 2 datasets are generated locally/regionally by services which start data collections to help advance their services and benefit their patients. The data representative/controller will be included in any application approvals which request access to this data.
- Tier 3 datasets are generated by research projects conducted within the NHSGGC Safe Haven and are currently not available for request.
Applying to access data
There is at present a paper application form which is not exhaustive but does ask questions about the scientific purposes behind your project, what data you would like access to, how you plan to analyse the data and what you propose to do with it.
You will need to attach any relevant documents to your application. This may help to make processing your application quicker and smoother. More information about the application process and the application form itself can be found here: http://www.nhsggc.org.uk/about-us/professional-support-sites/nhsggc-safe-haven/your-research/research-applications/
When research datasets are produced by the Safe Haven they will not be sent to researchers as files and will not be made ‘physically’ available. Instead, researchers may schedule an appointment with the Safe Haven to access their data, or may use the remote VPN access.
Anonymised datasets may be sent to any other accredited 'safe haven' in the UK for analysis/linkage with other datasets. If you wish to do this as part of your project you must state this in your application and a data sharing agreement must be in place between the two centres.
Adding data sets to Safe Haven
If you wish to include a new dataset into the Safe Haven, for which you currently act as a data controller there is a separate application form for this. Please fill in as much of the form as possible and endeavour to find answers to all the questions. The form can be found here: http://www.nhsggc.org.uk/about-us/professional-support-sites/nhsggc-safe-haven/your-research/research-applications/
For any Research Enquiries, please telephone:
Marion Flood (Safe Haven Manager) Tel: 0141 201 9303.
Claire MacDonald (Safe Haven Research Manager) Tel: 0141 201 9304.
NHSGGC Safe Haven
Room CT/1/6, First Floor
Clinical Research & Development
West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital
Comprehensive details about Safe Haven can be found at: http://www.nhsggc.org.uk/about-us/professional-support-sites/nhsggc-safe-haven/