Public Health England (PHE) collects, collates and uses data on individuals, their health and wellbeing, and their interactions with the NHS, as well as data on the wider social, economic and environmental determinants that affect health outcomes.
These data are used to enhance health care experiences for individuals, expand knowledge about disease and appropriate treatments, strengthen understanding about the effectiveness and efficiency of our healthcare system and support improving public health outcomes.
It is, however, equally critical to ensure there are adequate safeguards to maintain the balance between the benefit of disclosing data and an individual’s right to confidentiality.
To address the challenges of providing access to data, PHE established the Office for Data Release to provide a systematic approach to reviewing requests to release personal confidential data.
The Office for Data Release operates within the legal frameworks of the Common Law duty of Confidentiality, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Caldicott Principles.
All applicants to the Office for Data Release must demonstrate why they need access to data held by PHE, how they will use it and how they will protect it from unauthorised use, disclosure or loss.
Updates to the Data Release Register will occur on a quarterly financial year basis.