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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.

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Sign in to DARS online - existing customers can track and amend applications

DARS guidance - existing customers can find out more about how to make the most of DARS. You’ll find a range of resources including videos, webinars and guidance documents

Use our virtual data assistant (ViDA) - a cognitive agent that can answer questions and provide information about data NHS Digital holds and about the DARS process.

Please note: ViDA is in beta which means that is the first version and we are still testing it. Some results might not be exactly as you expect. 

Organisations and individuals wanting to use certain kinds of data need to show they meet strict data governance standards by completing our DARS application process

The DARS team makes sure we only supply sensitive patient level data to organisations that look after it according to Information Governance (IG) requirements, and use it to improve health and care services.

NHS Digital can provide access to a wide range of products and services

View the range of data products and services available through DARS.

We make charges to cover the costs of managing your application, processing data and providing access. View our latest charging guidelines.

How to access our data

Before you begin the application process please contact us to discuss your requirements. Not all enquiries progress to the application stage - it may be that your requirement can be satisfied through existing published data.

When you're ready to proceed with an application you'll need to follow the DARS application process.

Once your DARS application has been approved, data will be made available either by secure file transfer or through the Data Access Environment (DAE).

How NHS Digital protects data

Our decisions and actions are bound by law and policies. We will check that there is an appropriate legal basis for us to receive, process and pass data to you. We will also check that you have safeguards in place so that you store and handle the data safely and securely.

We carry out data sharing audits to check that you meet the obligations in your data sharing contract and Data Sharing Agreement.

Learn more about how NHS Digital protects your information.

On the 7th February 2018 we sent a letter to our customers. It contains advice on data access and their responsibilities for data management with respect to General Data Protection Regulations. View and download the letter.

Contact us

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

Existing customers can also call their assigned Case Officer.

Related pages

  1. internal

    Data Access Request Service (DARS): process

    A summary of the stages you'll need to navigate in your application for data. The DARS process consists of the following stages: Enquiry, Application, Approval, Access, Audit and Deletion of data.

  2. internal

    Data Sharing Audits

    We carry out independent audits to check that our customers are meeting their obligations towards data security.

  3. internal

    Data Access Request Service (DARS) charges 2018/19

    Estimated DARS service charges for the year 2018/19 listed by service component. Actual costs will be confirmed at the end of the application process and formally agreed before work commences.

  4. asset
  5. asset
Last edited: 13 September 2019 3:17 pm