NHS England’s SDE Network#

Chairs: Adam Keeley (University of Leeds), Madalyn Hardaker (KCL)


  • What is the future of independent TREs for health data?

  • How will primary data collection and linkage be managed in the SDE network?

  • What, if any, will be the accreditation standards SDEs hold them to?

  • What are the current options for unmet technical capability?

  • Do you foresee the new data access policy changing your workflows at all? If so, how?


The NHS network, and direction, was discussed.

The main principle is that health data will exist within SDEs, and that sub-optimal solutions will likely exist in the short term before full maturity of the SDE network is reached.

The NHS SDE team hopes to be more directly involved with the community going forwards.

Raw notes#

  • High level context of definitions

  • 11 Regional SDEs across England + National NHSE SDE

  • Different types of SDEs

    • some curate only

    • some curate + have technical environment for analysis

  • NHS Research SDE Network - HDRI Gateway

  • Challenges in federation, working across multiple TRE

  • Direction of travel is that health data will exist in SDEs - policy will default to SDEs

  • Do you go for a fully federated set up?

  • Requires common set of standards

  • There’s a long road ahead in terms of maturity, will likely have to temporarily settle for sub-optimal solutions as the situation evolves

  • Link to NHS England National SDE information - https://digital.nhs.uk/services/secure-data-environment-service

  • Is there a way to get other TREs accredited for the network?

    • Probs not for now, they won’t be planning to accredit others outside the network

Next steps#

  • Have an NHSE SDE policy team person attend a future session as well (March 2024)