Trusted Research Environments
We are committed to enabling the trustworthy use of health data for research. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have championed and led the use of Trusted Research Environments (also known as TREs, Secure Data Environments and other similar descriptions) to enable crucial research to support the response across all four nations.
TREs provide approved researchers with a single location to access valuable datasets. The data and analytical tools are all in one place, a bit like a secure reference library.
TREs help make research efficient, collaborative and cost effective, providing rich data that enables deep insights which will go on to improve healthcare and save lives.
Making data available through a TRE means that people can be confident that their personal health data is or will be accessed securely and their privacy is always protected.
Aligning approach to Trusted Research Environments is a workstream convened by the UK Health Data Research Alliance.
It brings together a community of members and researchers to develop and define standard approaches to Trusted Research Environments (TREs), also known as ‘Data Safe Havens’ or ‘Secure Data Environments’.
The aim of the Alliance workstream is that Alliance TREs will meet researchers technical and functional requirements whilst providing confidence to data custodians and the public. This will be done through a data access system that has evolved from the Five Safes model.
The systems, papers and standards delivered by the Alliance are the result of series of workshops and discussions with key stakeholders across the institute. To find out more, please click the links below:
The UK Health Data Research Alliance Paper (8 December 2021) ‘Principles and Best Practices for Trusted Research Environments’ includes a supporting foreword from NHSX, and sets out an approach for a trustworthy ecosystem of data access for health research.
The UK Health Data Research Alliance Paper (21 July 2020) ‘Trusted Research Environments (TRE) Green Paper’ on aligning the approach to TREs.
The Honest Broker Service – the Trusted Research Environment for Northern Ireland
The Secure Research Service: The UK’s largest Trusted Research Environment (TRE)
The what and why of trusted research environments
Cathie Sudlow, Director of the British Heart Foundation Data Science Centre, discusses trusted research environments – the benefits they offer and the challenges they can present – in her blog ‘The what & why of trusted research environments’ on the Understanding Patient Data website.
The Scottish National Safe Haven – a secure research environment for health data research
QResearch – high-quality data for world-leading research
SAIL Databank & National Core Studies: Accelerating the availability and accessibility of UK health data
New to HDR UK Futures: A free online course from Fatemeh Torabi and Utkarsh Agrawal on ‘Working in a Trusted Research Environment (#TRE)’, helping you to understand the basics of TREs, the complexities of working with patient data and how to use a ‘safe approach’ when working with this data.
HDR UK Statement on Trusted Research Environments
We welcome Jo Churchill's House of Common’s statement on GP Data for Planning and Research yesterday that "The implementation date will now be September 1, and we will use this time to talk to...
Response to the Goldacre Review – “Trusted Research Environments and Data Management”
Following a request from the Goldacre Review, HDR UK have today submitted the following response on the topic of Trusted Research Environments.
Communication and newsletters
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