Administrative data collected and maintained by Welsh Government are acquired by the privacy-protecting Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank. This Trusted Research Environment (TRE), hosted by the Medical School at Swansea University, contains a wealth of anonymised administrative data about the population of Wales (Ford et al., 2009; Lyons et al., 2009; Jones et al., 2016).  

SAIL Databank does not receive or handle identifiable data. Anonymised data are available for genuine research purposes only where there is a potential for benefit. Individuals in the data are assigned an Anonymous Linking Field (ALF) and this means that data relating to a particular individual can be linked together from different datasets. For example, children’s social care records can be linked to health, education and family justice records.  In addition to ALFs, the SAIL Databank can also provide a Residential Anonymous Linking Field (RALF). These anonymous codes indicate places of residence and are developed from who is registered together at the same address according to their GP records. By using RALFs you can carry out research looking at entire households.   

All data within the SAIL Gateway are treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and are compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation.  

Whereas applications to the Welsh Government can be made to use unpublished microdata pertaining to a single dataset, SAIL Databank allows for linkage to other datasets to provide a holistic picture of the experiences of children and young people receiving care and support and their onward trajectories.  

All proposals to use this data are subject to review and approval by the SAIL Information Governance Review Panel (IGRP). When access has been granted, it is gained through a privacy-protecting safe-haven and remote access system, referred to as the SAIL Gateway.  

Anyone wishing to access data should follow the application process guidelines available here.