Accessing Data and Research Outputs

Accessing Data and Research Outputs

Accessing Data and Research Outputs

Named approved researchers are granted restricted remote-access to anonymised extracts of data on a secure analytic platform, within the safe haven environment, to carry out their analyses. Only aggregated data can be released from the safe haven after being assessed for risk of disclosure of identifiable information.  Individual level data may be released if the appropriate approvals and consent are in place. 

Lothian Research Safe Haven (LRSH) works in collaboration with eDRIS and the accredited National Safe Haven to provide a secure area where researchers can be granted remote access to anonymised data to undertake their research. The LRSH team provides support for projects using Lothian data that are hosted on the National Safe Haven platform.

LRSH also works with the other accredited NRS safe havens across Scotland.

Disclosure checking and Control

Research applications are assessed for disclosure risk and the LRSH team will provide advice on how to minimise the risks of publishing research findings which could potentially identify individuals.

All data extracts will be anonymised and checked by the LRSH team before releasing for analysis by the researcher(s) unless patients have been recruited to the project with specific formal consent to use their data in an identifiable format.

 Outputs prepared by researchers will also be checked before they can be released from the Safe Haven to the researcher.


Safe Haven:

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 principle.


Data are said to be anonymised when items such as names, address, full postcode, date of birth and any other detail that might identify a patient are removed; the data about a patient cannot be identified by the recipient of the information; and the theoretical probability of the patient's identity being discovered is extremely small.