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Data Access Request Service (DARS) performance reporting

This page shows the latest available information on the performance of the data access request service (DARS). It is updated quarterly in line with research advisory group meetings.

Image for infographic 118 research applications currently being considered by NHS Digital
118 research applications currently being considered by NHS Digital
Image for infographic In total NHS Digital is working with applicants on 262 requests for data
In total NHS Digital is working with applicants on 262 requests for data
Image for infographic Around 46% of all current DARS applications are for research
Around 46% of all current DARS applications are for research

All data accurate as of 30 June 2020.

Elapsed time comparison (Research)

The graph below shows the mean and median age of DARS research applications from triage to director sign-off. Data represents elapsed working days (3 month rolling average) over time (January 2018 to June 2020).

The mean is significantly higher than the median due to the range of standard, medium and complex applications.

 

Download the data for this chart Elapsed time comparison (Research)

Applications into DARS monthly totals (All)

This graph shows cumulative monthly total of DARS applications triaged for 2018, 2019 and 2020.

In 2019 data is comparatively lower compared to 2018. This is due to a significant spike in 2018’s data, attributed to the migration of a high number of paper data sharing agreements (DSAs) into our online system.

Towards the end of 2018 NHS Digital introduced longer term DSAs which meant 2019 saw a reduced number of renewals  and extensions being processed. 

The number of applications triaged into DARS during 2020 shows an increase from last years figures due to:

  1. The migration of Medical Research applications away from the bespoke system to standard extracts.
  2. Updates involving CCG mergers.
  3. Requests for data relating to COVID-19.

 

Download the data for this chart Applications triaged - cumulative monthly total by year

Elapsed time for closed applications (All)

This graph shows the median elapsed time from triage to director sign-off for all closed applications in DARS.

Compared to 2019, the elapsed time for closed applications has decreased significantly due to the number of renewals, including local authority and CCG applications, which are expedited under precedent.

The concept of 'precedents' was introduced into the approval process in January 2019. It is an accelerated approach to applications which enables NHS Digital senior staff to approve agreements based on a set of criteria agreed with IGARD.

 

Download the data for this chart Elapsed time for closed applications

Average total working days with NHS Digital and the customer (Research)

These graphs show a breakdown of the average total working days with NHS Digital and the customer, over the last 3 months for research applications, broken down by application change type.

The horizontal (x) axis groups together stages of the data access request process to show where ownership and responsibility lie. The vertical (y) axis shows the amount of time, in working days, that an application has spent at that time of the application process.

For both amendments and extensions/renewals the positive impact of precedents can be seen, with significantly less time spent by the customer responding to queries and time within NHS Digital considering the application.

NHS Digital is implementing a change program over the next 4 months to introduce additional process improvements to look to reduce these times further.

 

Download the data for this chart All application change types
Download the data for this chart New applications
Download the data for this chart Amendments
Download the data for this chart Extension/renewal
Last edited: 8 October 2020 12:26 pm