Wessex Secure Data Environment

The Wessex Secure Data Environment (SDE) project is an NHS-led and owned project, sponsored and supported by the Wessex Health Partners strategic alliance.

Its objective is to give researchers fast, safe access to up-to-date health and care data. By doing this, the SDE aims to speed up clinical research and innovation for the benefit of patients, the public and the NHS.

The project team are building an online platform where large amounts of de-identified NHS patient data can be stored, linked together and safely accessed by researchers. It will have the highest privacy and security standards for NHS data, protecting the confidentiality of patient information.

The project is driven by Data Saves Lives, the NHS’s data strategy for health and social care. This strategy recognises that NHS data has immense value beyond the direct care of patients. It accelerates the discovery of new treatments by supporting research by academia and industry and helps the NHS to plan better and more effective services.

When data is used beyond the direct care of patients, it needs stricter controls and conditions. SDEs accomplish this with a strategic shift from a model of sharing NHS data for research to one that is based on access. They make it possible to securely and systematically combine large amounts of data from different places, enabling new research opportunities not previously available.

The real-world impact of the Wessex SDE is best illustrated through the variety of projects it is looking to support. These range from improving pre-hospital emergency care and employing genetic insights for better cancer outcomes, to early detection of lung cancer and gaining new perspectives on immune disorders and colorectal cancers. Each project represents a stride towards harnessing data to improve health and care in Wessex and beyond.

The project is led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Southampton, working closely with NHS Dorset and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board. Wessex SDE is part of the NHS Research SDE Network, comprising 12 SDEs across England, which are supported by NHS England and the Department for Health and Social Care.

For more information, please contact Chantal Chaney at

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