Charter for Safe Havens in Scotland: Handling Unconsented Data from National Health Service Patient Records to Support Research and Statistics.

The Charter for Safe Havens sets out the agreed principles and standards for the routine operation of Safe Havens in Scotland where data from electronic records can be used to support research when it is not practicable to obtain individual patient consent while protecting patient identity and privacy.


1. Health Informatics Research Advisory Group (2015). A Health and Biomedical Informatics Research Strategy for Scotland; Enhancing research capability in health informatics for patient and public benefit.

2. Thomas & Walport (2008). Data Sharing Review.

3. UK Administrative Data Research Network (2012). Improving Access for Research and Policy.

4. Caldicott (2013). Information: to Share or Not to Share? The Information Governance Review.

5. Data Controller should be taken to mean the individual NHS board or organisation with responsibilities as a Data Controller, as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998, and registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, agents acting on their behalf, such as individual Caldicott Guardians, and/or governance or scrutiny mechanisms operating with delegated decision making on their behalf.

6. The Public Benefit and Privacy Panel for Health and Social Care

7. Scottish Government (2012). Joined up data for better decisions: Guiding Principles for Data Linkage.

8. SHIP Blueprint (2012).

9. SHIP Guiding Principles and Best Practices (2010).



12. The operation of SILC and the technical operation of the federated network will be published elsewhere.

13. Davidson et al. (2012) Public acceptability of cross-sectoral data linkage. Deliberative research findings. Scottish Government.

14. Davidson et al. (2013) Public acceptability of data sharing between the public, private and third sectors for research purposes. Scottish Government.

15. Armstrong et al. Public attitudes to research governance. A qualitative study in a deliberative context. Wellcome Trust.

16. Within the NHS this is the NHS N3 Network or equivalent and processed in line with NHS security standards and Health Board policy.


Email: Pamela Linksted

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