Skip to main content Skip to footer

Requesting data for academic research

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) recognises the importance of using data to benefit public health. However, it’s important to use data in an ethical, controlled and consensual way.

Our policies ensure data used for public health research remains confidential.

All requests for data are subject to the provisions outlined in:

Find out more about the NHSBSA Governance framework.

How to request data

  1. Check other data publishers to see if the data you're looking for is already available.
  2. Read our application form (Word: 2.2 MB) and terms of reference.
  3. Discuss your research project with NHS Health Research Authority or NHS Digital.
  4. Complete the DARS application process if using sensitive patient-level data.
  5. Email to arrange an appointment to discuss your request with the NHSBSA, and to get a reference number - include any relevant documentation in your email.
  6. Complete the application form and email it to

How we review your request

 The NHSBSA Research Board reviews requests for research data. They decide if it meets the requirements and if we can support it.

We'll give you a reason if we're unable to support your request at the time of application. 

Reviews usually take six to eight weeks. It may take longer, depending on our resource availability and how complex the request is.

There will be a non-refundable charge for reviewing your request