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Data Access Request Service (DARS) products and services

A description of the data products we use to provide data extracts and other services.

DARS products available through DARS Online

A small number of data products may not be listed, for specific reasons. If you would like to discuss a particular data set that is not listed here, please contact us.


Telephone: 0300 303 5678

Coronavirus (COVID-19) datasets

COVID-19 Hospitalisation in England Surveillance System (CHESS) – Epidemiological data on COVID-19 infection in persons requiring hospitalisation in Intensive Care Units (ICU) or High Dependency Units (HDU). It records all demographic, risk factor, treatment and outcome information for patients admitted to hospital with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. This product will soon be renamed to SARI-WATCH.

COVID-19 Second Generation Surveillance System (SGSS) - Demographic and diagnostic information concerning antigen test reports for COVID-19, in England only. This dataset currently includes the first positive results from Pillar 1 (swab testing in PHE and NHS hospital labs), and Pillar 2 (swab testing for the wider population). Future flows are anticipated to include all positive, negative, void and inconclusive test results. This would mean the asset would no longer be limited to just be the first positive results. The NHS Digital SGSS asset is NHS Digital’s only source for Pillar 1 testing data. Pillar 2 testing data is also available to request as a separate product.

COVID-19 UK Non-hospital Antigen Testing Results (Pillar 2) – Data related to the second Pillar of the Government’s testing programme. It is a collection on antigen swab COVID-19 testing, conducted via drive-through test centres, mobile testing units, satellite test centres, home testing and care home testing. It consists of records from the entire UK, but only English data is provided by default – records from devolved nations need to specifically mention in the application.

COVID-19 UK Non-hospital Antibody Testing Results (Pillar 3) – Data related to the third Pillar of the Government’s testing programme. It contains positive, negative and void results of citizens’ COVID-19 anti-body tests conducted in non-hospital locations. It consists of records from the entire UK, but only English data is provided by default – records from devolved nations need to specifically mention in the application.

COVID-19 Vaccination Adverse Reaction Data - Records relating to patients who have had any adverse reaction to a COVID-19 Vaccination, which occur within the first fifteen minutes after administration of the vaccine. Scope covers any adverse reaction for vaccination events in England, or events from Devolved Administrations where this information was subsequently passed to England.

COVID-19 Vaccination Status Data - Recording individual vaccination events, details of the patients and batch information on the vaccine for anyone vaccinated within England, or those vaccinated in a Devolved Administration where this information was passed to England.

Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Adminstration (EPMA) data in Secondary Care for COVID-19 - Collection of data sourced from hospital EPMA systems relating to medicines prescribed and administered to patients. The EPMA collection was accelerated in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

GPES data for pandemic planning and research (GDPPR) - To support the response to the coronavirus outbreak, NHS Digital has been asked to establish a central collection of GP patient data for COVID-19 purposes for the duration of the coronavirus emergency period.

To apply for access to this data, you should first fill in the Access Request Form for GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19) and send it to If the request is approved you will then complete the DARS online process in the normal way. Any releases made are subject to increased oversight. Get more information on the GDPPR assessment process agreed upon with the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), with support from the National Data Guardian (NDG).

COVID-19 Ethnic Category Data Set – NHS Digital has created this small stand-alone data set by combining GDPPR ethnic category with the latest available ethnicity data in HES to increase coverage in ethnic category data. This data set will be made available for secondary uses in areas where data relating to ethnic category is useful for the purposes of COVID-19 planning and research.

To apply for access to this data, you should first fill in the Access Request Form for GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19) and send it to

If the request is approved you will then complete the DARS online process in the normal way. Any releases made are subject to increased oversight. Get more information on the GDPPR assessment process agreed upon with the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), with support from the National Data Guardian (NDG).

The Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) - A major national healthcare quality improvement programme that measures both the processes of care (clinical audit) provided to stroke patients, as well as the structure of stroke services (organisational audit) against evidence-based standards, including the 2016 National Clinical Guideline for Stroke. NHS Digital receives a subset of patients treated in England only for the purpose of COVID research data requests

Datasets available

Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey - Provides data on the prevalence of both treated and untreated psychiatric disorder in the English adult population (aged 16 and over).

Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry (BCIR) – A data set containing details of individuals who have had breast implant procedures in England, by both NHS and private providers.

Cancer Registration Data (details to follow)

Civil Registration – Deaths (details to follow)

Civil Registrations (Deaths) - Secondary Care Cut - Information including the date, place and cause of death from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 

Community Services Data Set (CSDS)  - A patient-level data set providing information about publicly funded community services for children, young people and adults. These services can include health centres, schools, mental health trusts, and health visiting services. The CSDS superseded the Children’s and Young People Health Services Data Set (CYPHS).

Demographics (details to follow)

Diagnostic Imaging Data Set (DID) - Data on NHS-funded diagnostic imaging tests, such as MRI scans and x-rays, extracted from NHS providers' radiological information systems.

Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS) -The database containing details of all A&E attendances at NHS hospitals in England, including minor injury units and NHS walk-in centres, as well as 24 hour and consultant-led emergency departments. The ECDS will eventually replace the Hospital Episodes Statistics: Accident & Emergency (HES AE) data set.

General Practice Workforce Data Set – This quarterly record-level data set includes details about individuals, practices and work being undertaken by GPs, Nurses, Direct Patient Care and Admin/Non-Clinical staff working in General Practice in England such as job role and hours worked.

HES linked to Civil Registrations (Deaths) - Linking HES data to mortality data from the Office for National Statistics permits the analysis of deaths in and outside hospital for all patients with a record in HES. It is also a rich source of data for analysis on a wide range of subjects including outcomes of hospital care, such as postoperative mortality.

HES linked to DID - The linkage of HES to DID enables customers to analyse acute secondary care pathways for patients receiving diagnostic imaging tests in England. This analysis could help to identify trends and variation in patient outcomes and be used to improve services for patients.

HES linked to Mental Health data - The linkage between HES and MHMDS/MHLDDS/MHSDS is provided as a bridging file which enables mental health records to be matched with records in HES through a pseudonym that protects the identity of individual patients. This enables analysis of acute patient pathways for mental health service users in England, which could be used to assess equality of access or identify opportunities for service improvement.

HES linked to PROMS - Linking PROMS to hospital inpatient episodes data from HES gives a much richer data set which provides the ability to analyse the data by patient demographics and by the extensive procedure and diagnosis information which are present in HES.

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) - Over 1 billion records of patients attending accident and emergency units, admitted for treatment or attending outpatient clinics at NHS hospitals in England. HES data is available from four data sets, that is, HES Admitted Patient Care, HES Critical Care, HES Outpatient and HES Accident and Emergency. For emergency care data from 1 April 2020, the Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS) should be requested.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) - A patient-level, secondary-uses data set, which provides nationally consistent and comparable person-based information about people referred to IAPT services for depression and anxiety. It contains information extracted or derived from local information systems within NHS-commissioned services across England.

Maternity Services Data Set (MSDS) - A patient-level data set that captures information about activity carried out by Maternity Services, relating to a mother and baby(s). It covers all activities from the point of the first booking appointment until mother and baby(s) are discharged from maternity services.

Medicines dispensed in primary care (NHSBSA data) - A data set containing records of medicines dispensed in primary care settings, such as general practice, community clinics, dentists and nursing services.

Mental Health data (MHMDS, MHLDDS, MHSDS) - Includes adults in receipt of NHS funded specialist, secondary mental health or learning disability services.

Mental Health of Children and Young People (MHCYP)  - This survey series provides England’s best source of data on trends in child mental health. The latest survey, conducted in 2017, with a 3 year follow up survey in July 2020, is now available to request from DARS.

National Diabetes Audit (NDA) Core - One of the largest annual clinical audits in the world. It measures the effectiveness of diabetes healthcare against NICE Clinical Guidelines and NICE Quality Standards in England and Wales, for both primary and secondary care.

NHS Registration Data from the Personal Demographics Service - The Personal Demographics Service (PDS) is the national electronic database of NHS patient demographic details such as name, address, date of birth, NHS Number and registered GP.

Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) - Pre and post-operative survey data collected from patients receiving hip replacement, knee replacement, hernia and varicose vein surgery.

Personal Social Services – Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS) - An annual national survey, conducted by Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs), gathering information from a sample of services users; aged 18 and over; in receipt of long-term support services funded or managed by social services.

Personal Social Services – Survey of Adult Carers [in England] (SACE) – A biennial survey, conducted by Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs), collecting information from and about adult carers, caring for a person aged 18 or over, who have been assessed or reviewed by social services (or where the cared-for person has received respite or another form of carer support).

Secondary Uses Service Payment by Result (SUS PbR) - National secondary care payment information from the Secondary Uses Service.

Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicators (SHMI)  - The SHMI is the ratio between the number of patients who die following hospitalisation at the trust and the number that would be expected to die on the basis of average England figures, given the characteristics of the patients treated there. It includes deaths which occurred in hospital and deaths which occurred outside of hospital within 30 days of discharge.

Uncurated Low Latency Hospital Data Sets for Admitted Patient Care, Outpatient and Critical Care - The Secondary Uses Service (SUS) is the single, comprehensive repository for healthcare data in England. It is the national repository for all Commissioning Data Set (CDS) submissions.

The SUS data flows used to create Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) data sets will now be used to create these additional uncurated data sets which will offer access to more current data (though less complete and assured). Customers can request these products via the Data Access Request Service (DARS) and these tactical data products will be available within the Trusted Research Environment (TRE) only. 

DARS services

Local Authority HES Extract Service - Provides local authorities with direct access NHS Digital to inpatient, outpatient and A and E data, updated on a monthly basis, for the whole of England for the last ten years.

Tabulations - Statistical tables of data, tailored to meet your requirements, for HES, Mental Health and the HES routine linkage to DID.

Standard extracts - Standard extracts provide cumulative data for the financial year to date from HES, SUS PbR, DID, Mental Health and any of our routinely linked data sets, delivered monthly on an annual subscription. We will provide you with provisional year-to-date, pseudonymised data. Identifiable data may be provided where an appropriate legal basis is in place.

Bespoke extracts - We can provide tailored record-level extracts from HES, PROMS, SUS PbR, DID, ONS mortality data, and any of our routinely linked data sets. These can be provided on a one-off or regular basis as required. We will provide you with an extract of pseudonymised data that meets your specifications. Identifiable data may be provided where an appropriate legal basis is in place.
Bespoke data linkage - We can link data sets to your specifications, linking two or more sets of data that we hold, linking customer data to data that we hold, or linking two or more sets of customer data. Subject to the relevant approvals, this product is available with HES, PROMS, DID, ONS mortality data, and any of our routinely linked data sets at a frequency of your choice.

Patient status and tracking - We can provide the demographic status of a specific group of patients or track them over a period of time, and provide regular updates using PDS, ONS cancer data and ONS mortality data. We can match your chosen list of individuals to provide:

  • validation of demographic data to improve linkage outcomes and/or ensure it is accurate prior to patients being contacted. 
  • a snapshot of current demographic status and mortality including cause of death where appropriate
  • periodic long-term updates on demographic status, morbidity and mortality of a patient cohort

Data Access Environment (DAE) - The 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).

Last edited: 7 July 2021 1:10 pm