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Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust is a programme partner for the Kent, Medway and Sussex Secure Data Environment (KMS SDE) for research.

The KMS SDE provides a trusted environment for researchers to access non-identifiable health and care data safely and securely for the benefit of patients, citizens and the NHS. This supports the government’s Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data strategy.

Programme partners are data providers and support development with the research community. Non-identifiable patient data from our Trust previously flowed into one database and will now also flow into the KMS SDE to be more accessible for researchers to safely use.

What is a secure data environment for research?

Secure data environments (SDEs) for research are data storage and access platforms, which uphold the highest standards of privacy and security of NHS health and social care data when used for research and analysis.

The SDE will allow approved users to apply, securely access and analyse de-identified (otherwise known as pseudonymised) health and social care data from across Kent, Medway and Sussex. In the future, identifiable data could potentially be used where necessary for a specific research project, but only with appropriate consent and other robust governance approvals in place.

To access the data, you must:

  • be an approved/accredited user
  • be from an approved/accredited organisation
  • have an approved project.

SDEs allow the NHS to control:

  • who can become a user to access the data
  • the data that users can access
  • what users can do with the data in the environment.

SDEs adhere to The Five Safes framework. This is a set of principles that enable data services to provide safe research access to data.

The national SDE

NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) are investing in the development of a network of 11 regional SDEs for research and development across England.

The network ensures there is secure access to health care data for approved research projects. These are led by academics, industry organisations or NHS employees such as clinical researchers.

The SDE vision

The KMS SDE will enable researchers to access health and care data safely and securely for the benefit of patients, citizens, and the NHS.

As a platform, service and consistent process, the KMS SDE will provide a trusted environment for researchers, ensuring that innovation is accelerated and targeted to meet the needs of the communities we serve.

Find out more about the national programme.

For further information, email