Research Infrastructure

Data Safe Haven (DSH)

What is the Data Safe Haven?

The Data Safe Haven provides an infrastructure for the secure management and processing of personal, sensitive and confidential information.

It is a repository for data for the following types of studies:

  • All NHS-Digital data users who need to be NHS Information Governance Toolkit (IGTK) compliant, unless there are reasons this cannot proceed.
  • Other, non NHS-Digital data users who also need to be NHS IGTK compliant, including section 251 approval.
  • Other, non NHS-Digital data users where the data is highly sensitive and their security requirements could only be met by a data safe haven.
  • Defence data
For data that meets the above criteria, but which cannot be stored in the safe haven, procedures within the SOP for ‘Information Security Classification, Ownership and Secure Information Handling’ must be followed

The Data Safe Haven is built using a ‘walled-garden’ environment. It is a secure environment with auditable access controls, secure data transfer, it also penetration-tested on a regular basis. All of this allows the University to provide the required assurances to NHS Digital and its other data providers. Access is restricted only to on-site computers and is protected by strict project level access controls and multi-factor authentication. The DSH utilises a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to ensure the data is only processed within the DSH.

DSH software available

There are a number of installed applications that are available to use within DSH for the purposes of processing data, such as:

Access 2016
Excel 2016
Powerpoint 2016
Publisher 2016
Word 2016
ArcGIS 10.4.1
MXD Doctor
Python 2.7.10
Azure Data Studio
GraphPad Prism 7
IBM SPSS Statistics 23
Matlab R2016a
NVivo 11
R 3.3.0, 3.6.0, 4.0.5
SAS 9.4
SPSS Statistics 23
Stata 14

Roles & Responsibilities

For a definition of the roles involved in the DSH including that of Information Governance Lead for the NHS IG Toolkit, Principal Investigator (PI), and the Study Information Governance Lead please follow this link to the DSH Standard Operating Procedure.


New projects should include costing of £2,000 per annum.

Last modified on November 4, 2022 at 4:04 pm by Ben Pietras