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Data Access Environment (DAE)


Data Access Environment (DAE) is a secure way users can remotely access better linked information and ensures the right person, with the right permissions gets the right data, in accordance with their Data Sharing Agreement (DSA).

Providing access to data through our secure environment reduces the need for it to leave NHS Digital. What’s more, users can take their insights to the next level by using a range of built-in tools to interrogate, analyse and visualise data for a more complete picture of health and care.

DAE forms the access point of our improved data processing services, a central system that will give us the power to process larger volumes of data – faster than we have ever done before. 

DAE and our improved data processing services

We are using modern data processing services to streamline and automate our existing ways of collecting, processing and accessing data.

DAE is the access element of these new services and is the way most users will experience:

  • Faster data availability
  • Better linked data across data sets
  • Powerful tools for analysis and visualisation

These improvements mean we can provide customers with the information they need to make quicker decisions and actions, to improve health and care. 

Migrating from Healthcare Data Interrogation Service (HDIS) to DAE

We are committed to improving access to the data we hold and providing robust, sustainable technology and tools to support our customers. As part of this commitment, we’re migrating HDIS (Healthcare Data Interrogation Service) to the new DAE service. This is the first service to be migrated to DAE and HDIS users will benefit from fast, secure access to better-linked data and powerful tools for deeper analysis. 


We expect migration to DAE to be completed by the end of April 2019.  From May 2019, access to online HES (Hospital Episode Statistics) data will only be available through DAE.

Data sharing agreements

HES data will be available in DAE in accordance with your data sharing agreement.  We are in the process of amending HDIS customers data sharing agreements to grant access to DAE.

NHS Digital will:

  • amend your data sharing agreement to grant access to DAE
  • contact you directly about your next steps for accessing online HES data using DAE, following the successful migration of your data sharing agreement. 

Guidance and support

Download the DAE ICT setup requirements

Staying up to date

Contact us

To discuss any aspect of DARS or an existing application call the DARS team on 0300 303 5678 or email

Show and tell webinars

We’ll be invited HDIS registered users to monthly webinars to provide interactive information updates about the development of DAE and migration from HDIS. The webinars will present details on the process, governance and technical changes required to access data using DAE and will provide a forum to ask questions and provide feedback.

DAE webpage

We’ll be keeping this webpage updated, to please bookmark it and check back here for more information.

Further information

  1. internal

    Access Hospital Episode Statistics data

    Once your DARS application has been approved, data will be made available either by secure file transfer or through the HES Data Interrogation System (HDIS).

  2. internal

    Data Access Request Service (DARS)

    The Data Access Request Service (DARS) can offer clinicians, researchers and commissioners the data required to help improve NHS services. We handle applications, process data and provide access to specific sets of data when requests are approved.

Last edited: 18 March 2019 12:14 pm