Restrictions on Access

Use of confidential records for academic research

LHSA has a unique collection of personal health records representing a variety of specialties which are highly valuable for academic research purposes.

Paragraph 9 of the Statutory Instrument 2000 no. 417 - The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 - makes provision for research access to confidential records containing sensitive personal data. The access to and use of the records must 'not support measures or decisions with respect to any particular data subject' and must not cause or be likely to cause 'substantial damage or substantial distress to the data subject or any other person'.

It is possible for a researcher to apply for access to closed LHSA records. An application to the NHS Lothian Caldicott Guardian will be made on the researcher's behalf by LHSA staff along with a letter from the researcher explaining the purposes of their research. The Caldicott Guardian will make a decision granting or denying access.

If access is granted the researcher must sign an undertaking that they will not disclose to any parties any personal information taken from these records, or publish any personal identifiers.

Statutory Instrument 2000 no. 417