NHS Digital Data Release Register - reformatted
Archus Limited projects
5 data files in total were disseminated unsafely (information about files used safely is missing for TRE/"system access" projects).
Archus Limited direct HES data feed — DARS-NIC-648561-Z8L8M
Type of data: information not disclosed for TRE projects
Opt outs honoured: Anonymised - ICO Code Compliant, No (Does not include the flow of confidential data)
Legal basis: Health and Social Care Act 2012 s261(2)(a)
Purposes: Yes (Consultancy)
Sensitive: Sensitive, and Non-Sensitive
When:DSA runs 2023-05-17 — 2024-05-16 2023.10 — 2023.10.
Access method: One-Off
Data-controller type: ARCHUS LIMITED
Sublicensing allowed: No
- Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS)
- Hospital Episode Statistics Accident and Emergency (HES A and E)
- Hospital Episode Statistics Admitted Patient Care (HES APC)
- Hospital Episode Statistics Critical Care (HES Critical Care)
- Hospital Episode Statistics Outpatients (HES OP)
Archus Limited works with the NHS and Health & Safety Executive to quantify what the United Kingdoms healthcare needs are likely to be in future and how those needs will be met. Increasingly this requires whole health economy understanding to enable service redesign and recovery.
Who are Archus Limited:
Archus Limited works nationally to define what people, services and estates the NHS needs and how to get the most from them. Archus Limited are specialists, providing support at every stage of the asset and system lifecycle, working across the UK to deliver wider system thinking and strategy. Archus Limited's end-to-end advice brings clarity to any healthcare project as the team is made up of over 95 health planners, clinicians, project managers, strategic property advisors and technical specialists working together to develop strategies for future service delivery and to implement changes in health systems.
These changes will be driven by the evidence, enabled by the data and analytics function who have been working with Hospital Episode Statistics data since it first became available. Every member of the data team has over a decade of experience working specifically with this data providing benchmarking, quality and safety reporting into NHS organisations, indeed two members of the team have over 30 years of healthcare data experience each. Additionally, the wider healthcare planning team has extensive experience of working with similar patient level data, sourced directly from NHS providers as well as diagnostic, surgical, pathology, primary care and prescribing data.
Clients and stakeholders of Archus Limited range from policy makers and commissioners to estates professionals and clinical staff (e.g. NHS England & Improvement, Buckinghamshire Health, Princess Alexandra, Somerset Federation). The team are experts in healthcare sector: infrastructure management; data; analysis; and interpretation, to enable Archus Limited to communicate with all stakeholders involved in healthcare delivery the necessary evidence to ensure efficacy.
What Archus Limited does:
Archus Limited's services are organised as four pillars: Strategic Advisory; Strategic Property Consultancy; Programme and Project Management; and Technical Advisory.
The Strategic Advisory team provide a range of services including clinical pathway development, optimised resource planning, space and infrastructure planning, demand trends analysis, workforce planning, clinical transformation and demand and capacity modelling to primary care, mental health and secondary/tertiary services.
The Strategic Property Consultancy is involved in acquisitions and disposals, lease management, strategic estate planning, portfolio management, and valuations & appraisals. This team supports healthcare clients in managing such competing priorities as the delivery of high-quality care, operational delivery, financial sustainability and a future-proofed flexible estate with expert consultancy backed up with data analytics.
The Programme and Project Management team, work with NHS healthcare customers at pre-construction and construction stages and handle transformation and change management projects. Successfully delivering projects requires a system-wide understanding of the clinical landscape, the financial framework, and the characteristics of the operational estate.
The Technical Advisory team are involved with business case delivery, financial analysis, technical authoring, and design guidance along with assurance reviews. Archus Limited has been trusted to develop three of the five 'ministerial priority' documents to aid the New Hospital Programme schemes. The documents are:
- Patient Flow Improvements
- Intelligent Hospitals
- Sustainability and Net Zero Carbon
Archus Limited has worked with NHS England on guidance for 'intelligent hospitals' as well as working with partners to deliver the COVID-19 design guidance that supported the Nightingale delivery programme.
Who Archus Limited works with:
In the last two years, Archus Limited have worked with over 130 NHS organisations in every country and region of the UK. The English providers and commissioners Archus Limited have worked with are outlined in the list below, national bodies are named while other organisations are categorised into Specialist Hospitals, Acute Trusts, Community Hospitals, Mental Health Providers, ICSs, CCGs GPs and Support Services.
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Education England
NHS Property Services Limited
NHS Trust Development Authority
Acute - 12
Community Hosp - 4
Mental Health - 5
CCG - 8
Support - 2
North of England
Acute - 11
Specialist - 3
Community Hosp - 3
Mental Health - 2
CCG - 4
GP - 1
East of England
Acute - 1
CCG - 2
Acute - 8
Specialist - 1
Community Hosp - 3
Mental Health - 3
ICS - 1
CCG - 5
Support - 1
Southwest of England
Acute - 5
Community Hosp - 3
Mental Health - 5
CCG - 4
GP - 5
Support - 2
South of England
Acute - 10
Community Hosp - 2
Mental Health - 3
ICS - 1
CCG - 8
GP - 1
What data is being requested:
Archus Limited are requesting four Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) record-level datasets with patient and consultant identifiers pseudonymised:
Admitted Patient Care (APC)
Critical Care (CC)
Accident and Emergency (A&E) / Emergency Care Dataset (ECDS)
The Strategic Advisory analytics team have reviewed the available data items by dataset and removed all sensitive data items (except ethnic category code in ECDS) along with any items which have no relevance to the proposed processing and subsequent analysis. Therefore, the request has been minimised to the set of data items that are required in order to carry out the analyses detailed below. Ethnic category code is necessary to ensure Archus Limited are able to help organisations identify inequality of delivery and access to healthcare services within their catchment area.
Full England coverage is required as Archus Limited provide services to national bodies, as well as specialist organisations with national reach such as Alder Hey Children's hospital, the Moorfield Eye hospital and Christies. Additionally, to be able to provide an appropriate benchmarked peer, subsets of activity at secondary providers that also deliver tertiary services (such as Guys and St Thomass) is necessary to ensure it is possible to identify what good looks like. Most importantly, the move to Integrated Care Boards and the catastrophic pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic mean that whole health economy solutions are necessary to prevent failure at every level of delivery. This is not possible with subsets of the data and could result in the propagation of inequality of delivery resulting from a silo view of demand.
Five financial years are requested to allow for the analysis of trends, the impact of organisational mergers, and service reconfiguration following COVID-19 pandemic and well as providing the pre-COVID-19 position. These datasets will provide Archus Limited with the best available coverage of secondary care activity in England upon which to base its planning advice to healthcare organisations. HES data represents a national view of patient encounters with secondary care services which supports analysis of flows across inpatient, outpatient and emergency settings and between hospitals. This national picture will help Archus Limited to provide the best planning advice to NHS organisations needing to build new facilities or reconfigure existing buildings and services for the benefit of the populations they serve.
To summarise, HES is the nationally recognised source of cleansed data available for England and therefore the best way to define the baseline volumes of activity by setting (inpatient, day case, outpatient, emergency department and critical care), service (surgery, medicine, maternity, emergency care) and demography (deprivation, ethnicity, frailty and age). Increasingly NHS organisations are requesting the additional perspective gained from comparison with similar organisations to themselves, therefore Archus Limited wishes to offer this ability to support organisations to drive improvements in healthcare provision.
Why Archus Limited needs HES data:
This agreement will enable Archus Limited to support NHS organisations in the planning of service delivery, identifying where activity does not meet the expected need and validated via comparison with the performance of other peer NHS organisations. The data would also be used to populate the software tools Archus Limited uses to generate reports for its clients. The primary objective for obtaining HES and Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS) data is to give the company the ability to provide analyses to clients which include comparisons with selected peer hospitals and the highlighting of best practice.
The tools used are models developed in Microsoft products and a demand and capacity tool Archus Limited has partnered with Coplug to develop. Coplug are a software development company with specific expertise in urban planning and data science. Archus Limited will act as controller of the HES and ECDS data and provide Coplug with aggregated extracts which will be used to populate the demand and capacity tool in line with the Data Processing Agreement that will exist between Archus Limited and Coplug. This agreement will make clear the purpose for which the data extracts may be used and the arrangements for secure deletion. Coplug will act on the instruction of Archus Limited only, therefore Coplug are not a Data Controller. Coplug are a Data Processor in this relationship as documented in this application. These tools are currently used internally within Archus Limited to provide client reports as opposed to being directly accessed by the client.
HES and ECDS data will be used to populate Archus Limited in-house tools with volumes of patient activity by setting, service and demography over an agreed period. The tools then model these volumes and apply projections of future population within the organisation's catchment along with other assumptions which impact the future activity of the organisation. These are brought together by the tool to provide a view of the amount of accommodation of each type (for example, wards, beds, operating theatres, endoscopy rooms, outpatient consulting rooms and waiting areas, operating rooms, birthing suites, staff rooms) the future facility will require. Other assumptions will include options for improvements in efficiency and modernisation of patient pathways which are derived from the HES and ECDS data of peer organisations. The term 'in-house tools' means that they are used by authorised members of the Archus Limited project team as opposed to clients. Archus Limited consultants use the tools to create material for the client report which is delivered at the end of each project.
Archus Limited want to process patient-level HES and ECDS data to provide customers with reliable insight to inform demand and capacity models, studies into patient flows to tertiary, regional or national centres, to provide evidence of best practice, to investigate health inequalities and potential unmet needs, and to inform service improvement and transformation to efficiently and effectively meet the future healthcare needs of the population. Archus Limited projects include those to remodel selected services within hospitals so it is essential that Archus Limited have access to the clinical and patient management detail each patient encounter so that the correct cohort of patients can be selected and the impact of alterations in patient pathways can be modelled.
Archus Limited will be able to project scenarios based on the performance of a peer group of comparable NHS organisations. Peer groups are selected hospitals which, after analysis, are deemed to have a similar workload and case mix to the hospital Archus Limited are providing services to. This type of comparison is used to give client NHS organisations a realistic target to improve and indication of the potential unmet need in the population. Archus Limited projects include analysis on expected future activity which takes into account population projections and the impact of service improvement or reconfiguration.
Outputs which are aggregated with small numbers suppressed are shared with healthcare organisations in workshops involving key stakeholders (NHS executives, senior managers and clinical teams). Demand and capacity models are then translated into functional content which forms the basis for a schedule of accommodation. This is then costed and the facility design is developed.
The goal is to help the NHS improve through support and advice on the reconfiguration of services and buildings (infrastructure) to best suit the populations it serves. Examples of evidence that can be provided with HES and ECDS data are: peer group length of stay for specific conditions or procedures; waiting times for procedures; emergency readmission rates following surgery; the impact of moving services from an inpatient or day case setting to outpatient over time; the likely unmet need of each strata of the population etc.
Archus Limited has carried out a legitimate interests assessment to review the purpose for which the data will be used, the necessity of using the data and balancing test to consider the impact on individuals' interests and rights. This will be maintained over the period Archus Limited holds data from NHS England.
Legal Basis under UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Article 6 (1)(f) - Archus Limited considers that the processing of information relating to individuals who have had encounters with hospital providers is required in order to achieve its legitimate interest in providing consultancy services to healthcare providers to improve decision-making around the provision of future healthcare infrastructure and service configuration. Archus Limited have conducted a Legitimate Interests Assessment to support this application.
The purpose test is met because Archus Limited are pursuing a legitimate interest in processing HES data to provide performance and efficiency targets to NHS organisations to improve decision making around the provision of healthcare which in turn benefits patients who use healthcare services. The necessity test is satisfied because the HES data Archus Limited are applying for is the only reliable and comprehensive all England dataset that is available which meets the requirements of the stated purpose. Archus Limited have reviewed the data items available and only selected those required by the analytics team to achieve the stated purposes. The balancing test is satisfied because the risk has been reduced as far as is feasible through minimising the request for sensitive data items, the use of pseudonymisation and suppression of small numbers in any output created from the HES data. Reviewing the responses to this legitimate interested assessment, Archus Limited considers that the processing of information relating to individuals who have had encounters with hospital providers is required to achieve its legitimate interest in providing consultancy services to healthcare providers to improve decision-making around the provision of future healthcare infrastructure. The nature of the data being processing and the purposes for which it is being used are considered to be low risk. Any small risks will be mitigated by appropriate safeguards and controls which will be in place before the initial receipt of the data.
Legal Basis under UK GDPR Article 9 (2)(j) - Archus Limited considers the processing necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) based on Union or Member State law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject. Specifically, it is in the public interest that NHS organisations are supported with the most accurate insight available, which currently is HES data. The processing is not likely to cause substantial damage or distress to any data subject because the datasets requested are pseudonymised and will only be disseminated to client organisations with small numbers suppressed. Processing with respect to a particular data subject will not be carried out. Archus Limited meets the health or social care purposes conditions as set out in Section 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018 because the purpose is clearly aimed at providing organisations with insight around the provision of health care and treatment and around the management of health care services.
Archus Limited will be the sole controller who also processes the data. No controller or processor of data mentioned in this agreement will attempt to re-identify data subjects in the data disseminated under this agreement. Archus Limited have a strategic partnership with Coplug to develop a tool to provide a geographical view of projected catchment growth and therefore projected admissions and other encounters with the Health Service in the future. To drive this tool, Archus Limited will provide Coplug with aggregated views of an organisation's data from its HES record level data. Archus Limited have listed Coplug as a data processor in this application. The data provided by Archus Ltd to CoPlug will never be at more granular geographical details than LSOA. Because the Coplug tool will need to slice and dice these views, it is proposed that these aggregations are provided without small number suppression on the basis that Coplug will develop functionality within the tool to perform the suppression and rounding on the fly before displaying on screen. The data will be further aggregated by CoPlug and rules of suppression applied following the most up to date guidance from NHSE, before being exposed to the client interface. Archus Limited will ensure that data is handled according to the latest HES disclosure rules. Archus Limited will determine the purpose and means of processing data with Coplug operating under their instruction. Archus Limited will take responsibility for ensuring the quality of Coplug software used to provide output for client reports. This includes the testing of the implementation of disclosure controls in the Coplug software. Archus Limited team members will be required to read and abide by the Archus Limited Information Security Management for NHS England data policy which covers disclosure control guidance.
No record level data is provided to any third party organisation in any format. The only output will be aggregated data with small numbers supressed as described and in line with the HES Analysis Guide.
The data will not be used to target sales individuals towards specific healthcare professionals and the data will not be used within sales collateral used by sales/marketing teams this includes sales brochures, emails, direct mailing or advertising of pharmaceutical products.
Archus Limited understands that NHS England require the maintenance of an outputs register, this is a list of the organisations who have commissioned the work to be carried out with NHS England data, together with confirmation that a data sharing agreement or Contract is in place with each Organisation.
This information will be made available to NHS England upon request. Archus Limited does not provide access to or extracts from the record level dataset to any third party. Any data provided will only be used by Archus Limited for the purposes, activities, and outputs defined in this Agreement.
Archus Limited has a legitimate interest routed in two linked by separate areas:
(i) the ability to offer strategic and technical advisory services that healthcare organisations can use to the benefit of the population served by the health and social care system;
(ii) providing assurance to customers that the insight offered is based on consistently cleansed data from the prime trusted source available with all necessary data items included to maximise the accuracy of the outputs.
Outputs are used by trust boards, directorates, clinical teams and operational leaders to inform their service and infrastructure strategies. It is hoped that they will help these parties achieve better value for money, sustainability for the future and to support decision-making.
Archus Limited expect to provide insights for the future around infrastructure investment, clinical service planning and the provision of equitable care.
Without key indicators for individual episodes, data could be wrongly attributed to different departments/sub departments/patient strata. When forecasting growth factors over 15 or more years, small numbers of wrongly attributed episodes can translate into substantial over or underestimations in future requirements resulting in the propagation and exaggeration of inequality of delivery and potentially inadequate provision and poorer patient outcomes. Additionally, inaccurate demand and capacity modelling can lead to the under or over provision of physical space and services. This could have an adverse impact on NHS funding, the running of clinical services, provision of quality timely patient care and result in working environments that are not fit for purpose.
It is hoped that the expected benefits from having access to consistently collected and cleansed data, to support benchmarking and population health modelling are:
Improved capacity planning through more accurate data with a benchmarking dimension is anticipated to lead to improved service efficiency which is hoped to help patients by improving access to services and provision of the right care in the right place
Reduced health inequalities by identifying where they currently exist and actively seeking to mitigate them in future by designing facilities that are fit for purpose and focused on population need rather than previous activity
Increased confidence in the insight derived from patient-level data because it is from the prime, nationally recognised and cleansed source of data
Ability to provide nuanced and benchmarked insight to inform the New Hospital Programme (NHP) projects using the best quality data available is anticipated to improve consistency between NHP schemes and result in better hospital design which is hoped to be positive for patients
Deriving accurate projections for providers and commissioners to plan their requirements for future builds, including how the provision of services might need to change, to mitigate population growth and inequality of access, is anticipated to drive accurate investment decisions and business cases. This is hoped to benefit future populations
Providing targeted analytics for cohorts of patients with specific conditions in order to determine the most efficient way to deliver care is anticipated to benefit patients with these conditions by ensuring they receive the best and most timely care possible within the resources of the NHS
Enabling the public sector to achieve better value for money through the ability to take more informed decisions around the design of healthcare infrastructure
Helping providers to address the issue of post-COVID-19 elective recovery so that patients are treated sooner
What is the magnitude of the impact? (e.g. number of patients affected/potential cost and efficiency savings)
The magnitude of the impact is impossible to accurately calculate in advance of receiving the data and building the models. However, as an indication of the impact better quality data can have on improving decision making, in a recent Archus Limited project, population growth data based on approved housing applications rather than standard population growth factors was used. It identified a potential 10% (60,000 people) under prediction, particularly in older people in a currently deprived area. It is not known now, which model is more accurate, but the housing model seems more credible. Over the next five years these two models can run simultaneously to ensure that if the housing model is more accurate, the current underprediction will not further disadvantage a population already underprovided for. This type of approach is what Archus Limited hope to deliver to Archus Limited clients and the populations they serve, nuanced models, monitored over time and adapted in light of the best available evidence.
Who will achieve the benefit? Will this be the controller/funder/other third party?
The healthcare providers and commissioners Archus Limited work with will be the ones that realise the benefits. Archus Limited hope that the quality of the outputs will result in Archus Limiteds continued growth, but at every stage this is linked to the success Archus Limited clients have in delivering integrated care and transforming services.
How will it be measured?
How accurate Archus Limited's models prove to be in comparison with the less nuanced options will quantify the value of this dissemination. Archus Limited hope to be granted repeated access to this data, and expect to quantify the benefit Archus Limited have provided to clients upon reapplication. With continued access to HES data, it is hoped Archus Limited will be able to quantify the accuracy of Archus Limited's model predictions with actual activity.
When will it be achieved?
As described above, this process will be iterative. Archus Limited expect to provide meaningful information very quickly, however calculable realised value in these projects takes longer. In the first three months Archus Limited hope to have a mechanism to share information with clients. In the first year, Archus Limited hope to have a demonstrably more legitimate methodology for redesigning services, and the beginnings of a better population needs calculator to replace the standard demand model currently used.
These benefits are all in the public interest given they impact the provision of healthcare both from an efficiency efficacy and cost perspective. Archus Limited will collect client feedback and compile user case studies in order to measure the impact of the services made possible by this access to HES data.
What will be produced as a result of the data processing
The HES data will be used to underpin an approach to service redesign, facilities management and operational reporting based on place and population rather than provider. The changing nature of the health economy in the UK means that previous aggregations are no longer meaningful or informative when it comes to predicting what activity will need to be planned for in the next one, five and ten years, so in order to plan for the future, historical data will need to be cut differently, and hypothetical models built and tested. These models will need to iterate and be refined in the light of changing best practice and service pressures until they enable good decisions to be taken by commissioners. The data will contribute towards a number of specific outputs, including reports, dashboards and presentations.
What level of data will be contained in the outputs
The reported outputs will be aggregated, rounded and small number suppressed, Archus Limited will stratify patients and populations based on the characteristics decided upon in conjunction with Archus Limited clients. In advance of the construction of the models, it is known that the aggregation will include condition, place, demography, service and facility. What is not yet known is how the redesign and formation of the ICBs will change elements of the broad categories above. Services need to meet the demands of future populations in an environment that is not yet fully mapped out. Having the data at the level of granularity requested will enable Archus Limited to iterate through the scenarios that the ICBs plan with Archus Limited until the most beneficial output is determined. Additionally, it will mean that Archus Limited can continue to iterate through these design options with the ICBs to ensure that if decisions need to be taken based on new evidence and clearer understanding of population needs, the evidence is there in support.
Exploitation of results/outputs
The various outputs will have different levels of access, but fundamental to Archus Limited's approach is transparency. Archus Limited will make available to the client the factors that have gone into the building the models that have been applied to the data to generate the results. Archus Limited will ensure that there is full knowledge transfer to the client so that they are able to articulate clearly how the requirements and recommendations have been generated. When preparing models and predicting activity for the future, small differences at the input stage grow exponentially as they processed through. In order to comply fully with the rules set out, at the stage the numbers are reportED to the client, the suppression and rounding will be applied.
Reporting will be through portable document format (PDF) and presentations, which will not be linked to the data in any way, but as much as possible clients will be able to interact with the information through Microsoft interactive tools and CoPlug. CoPlug is proprietary software and so the link to the underlying data can be controlled via role-based access in the product. The link would never be available to customers - so they can't access the underlying data, only the aggregated reports.
The client will retain ownership of the reports produced and are free to distribute as they see fit. The outputs Archus Limited provide will comply with the HES disclosure control rules so that the learning and best practice can be freely shared.
Target dates for outputs
This process is going to be iterative as indicated above. Elements of the benefits could be realised within the first three to six months, as the team is very familiar with the data and historically valuable indicators that can be derived. Archus Limited will be able to process and present the information quickly to the benefit of Archus Limited clients. However Archus Limited anticipate that this process will not be complete in the life of this agreement. Archus Limited hope to demonstrate reliability to NHSD and renew Archus Limited's access to this data annually in perpetuity. This will enable Archus Limited to continue to refine the models produced and ensure that Archus Limited clients can monitor their performance against the predictions over time and react in an agile fashion to changes in the populations health and social care needs.
Archus Limited will process, store and access HES and ECDS patient level data on UK located infrastructure provided by Six Degrees.
Coplug will process, store and access aggregated HES-based datasets supplied by Archus Limited, on UK located infrastructure provided by Amazon Web Services. Archus Limited analysts will use statistical software packages and applications, all hosted in UK data centres, to analyse and present HES data extracts.
NHS England will flow pseudonymised HES (Admitted Patient Care, Outpatients, Accident & Emergency and Critical Care) and ECDS data to the Archus Limited controlled infrastructure provided by Six Degrees via Secure Electronic File Transfer (SEFT).
The pseudonymised data is held securely on Archus Limited systems with access permissions granted only to roles which require it. These will be substantive employees of Archus Limited.
The data received is processed using in-house computer programs which:
Unifies the data structure into an Archus Limited standard schema
Links finished consultant episodes into provider spells which can exist across financial years
Derives Healthcare Resource Groups (HRG) using the HRG Grouper and applies an indicative tariff
Applies clinical groupings such as Clinical Classification Software (CCS) groups to assist in the derivation of cohorts of patients
Applies specific deprivation measures such as Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 using Lower Super Output Area
Applies quality outcome measures such as mortality, readmissions and length of stay outliers
Applies efficiency measures like length of stay, day case rates, day case overstays
Stores the data along with derivations in discrete databases by service type (APC, OP, AE, ECDS)
The server environment will be provisioned by Six Degrees in their private cloud space. Backup provision is located in a remote facility also in the United Kingdom. Six Degrees hold Cyber Essentials Plus and ISO27001 accreditations and host the Archus Limited platform on the same category of infrastructure as other NHS users, the Ministry of Defence and Cabinet Office. Six Degrees are also a government cloud service provider.
Archus Limited will use Coplug as a sub-processor of aggregate level extracts derived from the Archus Limited HES and ECDS data for the sole purpose of populating their Supporting Services and Infrastructure Demand Management tool for clients of Archus Limited. This data flow will be controlled by a Data Processing Agreement between Archus Limited and Coplug which restricts the use of the supplied data to this purpose and demands the secure destruction of data extracts when each project expires. Amazon Web Services provide a UK-based processing and storage environment for Coplug. Amazon Web Services are a government cloud approved service provider.
Under this agreement, a maximum of five financial years of data will be retained for the assessment of trends. On renewal of the agreement, Archus Limited will securely destroy the oldest financial year for all datasets and issue a certificate of destruction to NHS England in accordance with current standards for multi-pass shredding. The oldest financial year is required primarily to maximise the validity of any provider spells built in the second oldest year.
Token Person Identifier has been requested on all datasets to facilitate the linkage of patient activity across healthcare settings and providers to investigate patient flows and to derive measures of performance and equality such as length of stay and readmissions by deprivation quintile and ethnicity. Lower Super Output Area has been requested to allow linkage to datasets such as Index of Multiple Deprivation and to allow mapping at that level in the Coplug tool. The output of such linkages will not be made available publicly without the application of small number suppression and rounding.
Linkage will not be used in an attempt to add information which might help identify individuals in any circumstances - Archus Limited have absolutely no requirement to do so. The subset of Archus Limited employees with access to HES data will have undergone mandatory UK GDPR training and will have read the Archus Limited Information Security Management procedure for HES data and signed a memorandum of understanding.
Data processing of raw HES data will only be carried out by substantive employees of Archus Limited who, in addition to the aforementioned measures, have demonstrated their technical competence in the technology in use by Archus Limited.
For substantive employees whose roles require them to analyse HES and ECDS data, remote access to the Archus Limited Microsoft network is via their company laptop which has drive encryption enabled and using two factor authentication: username and password plus a secondary check via SMS message to company mobile phone or via an authenticator application. Archus Limited analysts will use statistical software packages and applications, all hosted in UK data centres, to analyse and present HES data extracts.
Access to the Six Degrees hosted private cloud virtual environment will be via a VPN with the client software and access credentials being made available only to those who require it in their role at Archus Limited.
Record level data will primarily be stored on the private cloud platform and its secure backup location. Record level extracts, for analysis of cohorts to investigate patient flows, or for HRG grouping on a Windows platform for example, will be minimised in terms of data items included and restricted to substantive Archus Limited employees, and deleted securely after use.
Data created by aggregating HES and ECDS record level data and without small number suppression applied will be accessible only by substantive Archus Limited project team members whose role it is to analyse the data for customers and to substantive members of the Coplug team. Archus Limited will provide to Coplug, on a project-by-project basis, aggregated data which are designed to exactly match (and not exceed) the Social Infrastructure Demand Modelling (SIDM) tools specific requirements. The data provided by Archus Ltd to CoPlug will never be at more granular geographical details than LSOA. The data will be further aggregated by CoPlug and rules of suppression applied following the most up to date guidance from NHSE, before being exposed to the client interface.
Any analysis presented to clients will have small number suppression and rounding applied in accordance with the HES analysis guide.
Archus Limited will implement a HES/ECDS data usage guide with employees and conduct briefing sessions on those who need to use HES data. The guide will cover access control, data request process and disclosure control.
Archus Limited will ensure that any disclosure control rules are implemented in the CoPlug Social Infrastructure Demand Modelling tool, so that no small numbers are displayed where the data does not relate to the trust who has commissioned the consultancy. This has already been specified and will be tested prior to release by Archus Limited as part of its responsibilities to the data sharing agreement.