CUREd research database

The CUREd research database closed for new applications in November 2023.

Off

The CUREd research database collates routine NHS data from several Urgent and Emergency Care (UEC) service providers in Yorkshire and the Humber region between 2011-2017, including the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), NHS111 and acute NHS trusts. 

The CUREd research database is now closed to new data requests.

However, some data from CUREd will be included within the new CUREd+ research database, set to be available for researchers in May 2024. CUREd+ is an updated database that will include data from 2011-2023 and include national data sets in England.

Learn more about the CUREd+ database


Background

There is increased pressure on emergency departments (ED) across the UK. The services are becoming stretched and as a result, waiting times are increasing and patient care is suffering. By linking together patient data from different hospitals and services across Yorkshire, researchers are able to build a more complete picture of how Urgent and Emergency Care (UEC) services in the region function.

This picture will help researchers understand the flow of patients through UEC services, understand what the most common health issues are and better plan community services in the future. The anonymous data can help scientists understand UEC services across an entire region and suggest improvements in a much more synchronised way.

The CUREd research database collates routine NHS data from a number of UEC service providers in Yorkshire and the Humber region from 2011-2017, including the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), NHS 111 and acute NHS trusts, in addition to other health service providers. Individual patient records have been linked to form this large unique research database, containing over 23 million patient episodes.

This rich data source allows the UEC services to be viewed as a whole system, enabling demand on the system by patients to be analysed as well as the flow of patients through the system. 


CUREd data

Patient-identifiable data has been obtained from the UEC service providers, checked and cleaned. Data linkage of 23 million patient episodes has been completed and validated. Linked, deidentified data is stored in the CUREd database, as described in the Data Dictionary.

View de-identified data.

Learn more about how the CUREd database was created

Researchers can request data extracts from the CUREd research database to be used in research studies focusing on urgent and emergency care within the UK. Researchers will need to go through an application process to obtain data and if successful, will only be supplied with data that does not contain patient identifiers.

Strict processes are in place to ensure all project data released is governed correctly and will be used for research purposes only.


How to access CUREd data

The CUREd Research Database is now closed to new data requests.

The CUREd research database is a large and unique linked research database meaning we receive many requests to use CUREd data.

If you are interested in developing a research proposal working with the University of Sheffield team or would like to access CUREd data to use in a piece of work you wish to undertake then you will need to initiate a data extract request by completing the online data access request (DAR) form outlining your proposal. If you experience difficulties completing the online form, contact the UOS team and a paper version (Word format) can be sent.

Before you contact us, make sure you have read our guidance for collaborators (see below) and that you have obtained the appropriate ethical approval for the use of secondary data. 

The CUREd Data Release Committee (DRC) reviews proposals on a regular basis and will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible. You can find out about the different datasets which are available in the data dictionary (see below). If you are unsure if we have the data that you need, contact cured@sheffield.ac.uk

If your request is approved we will ask you to sign a Data Sharing Agreement prior to the transfer of any CUREd data.

Please note, we make charges to cover the costs of managing your application, processing data and providing access. Students may be exempt; please contact the UOS team to discuss.

Further information and related documentation on how to access the CUREd data is available below.

Documentation

Guidance for collaborators

Terms and conditions for data transfers, storage and processing

Data dictionary

Data project register


Funding

The CUREd research database is managed by The University of Sheffield. It was developed with funding from Connected Yorkshire – part of the Connected Health Cities (CHC) programme which ended in December 2019.

The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration in Yorkshire and Humber is providing ongoing support to the CUREd research database.


Ethical review and legal permissions

The "Connected Health Cities: Data linkage of urgent care data" study (known as the "CUREd research database") has approval from the NHS Research and Ethics Committee (REC), overseen by the NHS Health Research Authority’s Research Ethics Service, and from the NHS Health Research Authority (HRA), directly, to receive health and social care data without patient consent for patients of emergency and urgent care services in Yorkshire and Humber.

The Leeds East REC granted approval (23/YH/0079, previously 18/YH/0234) and, subsequent to receiving a recommendation to approve from the Confidentiality Advisory Group (18/CAG/0126, previously 17/CAG/0024), the NHS HRA provided approval for English health and care providers to supply identifiable patient data to the study.

The study complies with the common law of duty of confidentiality owed by health professionals in regard to the information provided by patients in the course of clinical care; the General Data Protection Regulation as enacted in the UK by the Data Protection Act 2018; and, where applicable, the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.

The NHS HRA’s approval additionally provides the study with the authority to afford other researchers access to anonymised data subject to approval by the study’s Data Release Committee.

View the CUREd project register


Team

Research and academic

Chief Investigator/Project Lead: Professor Suzanne Mason

Technical

Study Manager: Dr Rosemarie Gough

Lead Data Specialist: Annabel Crum

CUREd Data Release Committee

The CUREd Data Release Committee (DRC) is the group which reviews all requests for data extracts from the CUREd research database.

Controls and procedures are essential to ensure the highest standards are maintained in relation to transparency, accountability, quality and consistency in the management of the CUREd research database and its data extracts. The purpose of the CUREd DRC is to provide stewardship to help maintain these standards, as well as providing a voice for stakeholders and the public.

The CUREd DRC also makes general recommendations or observations about project processes, policies, procedures, and documentation.

More information about the CUREd DRC and the review process is provided below.

CUREd DRC Terms of reference

CUREd Data review process flow chart

CUREd DRC data request assessment process

CUREd DRC membership

The CUREd DRC is made up of a panel of specialists and lay members. 

Find out more about our members

Meeting minutes

The minutes from each CUREd DRC meeting are published within a month of the CUREd DRC meeting, and are available here. If you have any questions, please contact the UOS team.


Information security

We take data security very seriously and adhere fully to the University of Sheffield (UOS) and the Division of Population Health data security policies and procedures.

The UOS is the Data Controller, and is responsible for ensuring that all data is securely stored, handled and used in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation. The Division of Population Health’s data policies and procedures for storing and handling data have been approved by the NHS Information Governance. The Project Lead of the CUREd Research Database remains the Data Custodian and, on a day to day basis, oversees the way in which the UOS team looks after patients’ data.

All patient identifiable information, such as names, addresses and dates of birth of patients, is stored on a virtual machine that is isolated from all other computer systems and is protected by digital access control and other security systems, so that the risk of unauthorised access to this information by anyone is extremely low. This system is also physically locked down and is only accessible by authorised personnel.

Patient identifiable information will only be kept for the minimum amount of time possible until data linkage and validation of data linkage has taken place. Following this stage, personal identifiable information will be removed from the CUREd Research Database and replaced by a unique identifying number.

No identifiable information (such as name or date of birth) is held in the final research database, meaning that it is not possible to identify patients from the data. 

Researchers will only be provided with data following an application process and review by the CUREd Data Release Committee (DRC). If approval is given to receive data, researchers will be required to sign an agreement outlining required security practices and procedures. The data MUST only be used for research purposes that align with the aims of the research database (i.e. used for research in urgent and emergency care).


How to opt out

It is no longer possible to remove individuals’ data from the CUREd database as all data has been de-personalised and cannot be re-identified. If you would like more information on the project please contact the team on cured@sheffield.ac.uk.

For more information, please see the CUREd Privacy Notice.


Use of CUREd data within the new CUREd+ research database

We are currently in the process of creating a new database named CUREd+. This database will contain some information from the CUREd database.

For further information on the CUREd+ research database, including how and why the University processes your personal information, how we keep your information secure or if you would prefer your data not to be included in this research database, email cured-plus@sheffield.ac.uk with your name and date of contact, before 1 September 2022.

If you would prefer for your information not to be included in the CUREd+ research database we can delete this information from being entered. You do not need to give a reason and your rights will not be affected. However, removing information will limit our ability to conduct research.

This is confidential and secure. Withdrawing your data from the study does not preclude you from further studies and will not affect your treatment in any way.

If you have already set a national data opt-out with the NHS, your data will not be included in the database.

For more information, see the CUREd+ Privacy Notice.

We have also produced a poster summarising the data linkage for CUREd+.

Flagship institutes

The University’s four flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle global issues, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.