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Creating a new NHS England: Health Education England, NHS Digital and NHS England have merged. More about the merger.

Data Access Environment (DAE)

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

The Data Access Environment (DAE) provides secure access to the health and care data we hold and reduces the need for it to leave NHS Digital.

DAE caters for standard users with access to standard data sets, and is the platform that supports our Trusted Research Environment (TRE) service for England, and the Secure Data Environment service

Both services offer a range of analytical tools to support health and social care research and planning.

Accessing data

All data access is strictly managed by our Data Access Request Service (DARS). Over time, DAE will integrate with DARS to provide an improved customer experience and make requesting and receiving quicker and easier for customers.

If you need to start a new application, please contact the DARS team to discuss your requirements. Not all enquiries progress to the application stage as it may be that your request can be catered for using existing publications.

Data Sharing Agreements

A Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) is required before users can access data using DAE. If you have an existing DSA in place, it will need to include permission to access data using DAE. Once approved, users are issued with a DAE username.

To discuss any aspect of DARS or an existing application, call the DARS team on 0300 303 5678 or email [email protected].

User guidance

Release history

Service announcements and outages

Analytical tools

DAE hosts some of the world’s leading analytics tools. The suite is designed to support all analysis, reporting and publication requirements, whilst providing powerful options to deliver world class data visualisation and analysis. The tools you have access to will depend on your project needs and arrangements.


Databricks is a collaborative analytics platform that supports SQL, Python and R languages for the analysis of big data in the cloud.

Licensed tools

Licensed tools are not available to ‘standard’ DAE users and are currently only available under specific user agreements.


RStudio is a development environment for the R statistical language. It is made by statisticians for statisticians to make your work more productive. 

Other tools

Other tools can be hosted on the platform, depending on individual project needs.

End user access agreement

Use of DAE is governed by these terms and conditions.

Contact details

If you have any questions or require further support, please get in touch.

For operational issues, such as login issues, password resets and problems with system access, please contact our National Service Desk on 0300 303 5035 or [email protected].

For general enquiries, such as questions about Data Sharing Agreements or other data-related issues – please email our Contact Centre at [email protected].

Further information

internal Access the Secure Data Environment

The NHS England Secure Data Environment (SDE) is a secure data and research analysis platform. Sign into the SDE portal and view our user guidance.

internal Trusted Research Environment service for England

NHS Digital’s Trusted Research Environment (TRE) service for England provides approved researchers with access to essential linked, de-identified health data to quickly answer COVID-19 related research questions.

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.

internal Master Person Service (MPS)

The Master Person Service (MPS) helps us increase the amount of usable, better-quality data available to support research and planning.

internal De-ID

‘De-identification’ protects people’s data and enables safe linkage across data sources. This enriches analysis by providing a more complete picture of health and care data.

Free data awareness training (external link, opens in a new tab)

The Safe Data Access Professionals Group helps share expertise, best practice and knowledge between organisations engaged in providing secure access to confidential sources of data from the health and social science research sector. This is aimed at promoting best practice when generating Safe Outputs in Safe Settings. These free data awareness training courses and modules provide you with best practice information on working with statistical data.

Last edited: 5 December 2023 11:08 am