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NHSGGC Safe Haven

Welcome to the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Safe Haven website!

Here you will find all the information relating to the Safe Haven and how we can assist with your research. Please use the links on the right hand side menu to navigate our site.

We form part of the Scotland branch of The Farr Institute, which is a UK-wide network of federated Safe Havens. We are the result of a unique collaboration between NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Research & Development and the Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, offering an excellent resource for health-related data research in Scotland. All our staff are trained in ICH Good Clinical Practice and regularly undertake training in a variety of research related subjects.

Our goal is ambitious to achieve but simple in concept; to establish a large research resource which is able to link health information datasets at patient level, so we can provide answers to clinical research questions and inform health service improvement.

Your research is important to you, and so it is important to us. We are committed to helping you get the best possible outcome for your project with the hope that together we can improve the science behind the health service and, in so doing, improve the health service and provide increased patient benefit. The need for large datasets which provide valuable information for quantitative analysis, and which support qualitative research, has grown stronger over recent years and will become even more important in the future.

The demand for ‘big data’ to inform future healthcare; whether it be service improvement, new surgical techniques with lower post-procedural infection rates, more highly targeted drugs with less side effects, ‘personalised’ medicine using molecular genetics or highly sophisticated new nano-techniques, is enormous. This also increases the potential investigative avenues for researchers to develop and utilise. The Safe Haven brings traditional research strategies and modern technology together to advance these avenues by providing a large health data resource managed by the NHS and supported by universities, in order that we can exploit the knowledge from both NHS and academic sources to future-proof our public health service.

The Safe Haven also collaborates on projects which involve inclusion of social data; expanding the horizon of health data research and reaching out to encompass all aspects of life. These types of data research are expected to inform health and social care in a more in-depth way, in the hope of eventually bringing together public services with an understanding of how different aspects of a person’s life can affect their health and, ultimately, be improved.

We do not release patient identifiable data to researchers, but instead include datasets and link them ourselves before releasing the full research dataset in an anonymised format, safeguarding the public from the risk of identification. Patient confidentiality and security is of utmost importance to NHS Scotland and we strive to ensure this is maintained, in accordance with statutory regulations, in order to maintain public trust – which is paramount.

We have tried to display as much information about our services as possible on this website, in order that you can make a fully informed decision about collaborating with us. If you are interested in undertaking health related data research and wish to use our services; please explore our website and feel free to contact us at any stage, even if your project is only at the earliest stages of becoming an idea!