Infrastructure and operating processes of PIONEER and the workings of the Data Trust Committee: a protocol paper


Health Data Research UK designated seven UK-based Hubs to facilitate health data use for research. PIONEER is the Hub in Acute Care. PIONEER delivered workshops where patients/public citizens agreed key principles to guide access to unconsented, anonymised, routinely collected health data. These were used to inform the protocol.


This paper describes the PIONEER infrastructure and data access processes. PIONEER is a research database and analytical environment that links routinely collected health data across community, ambulance and hospital healthcare providers. PIONEER aims ultimately to improve patient health and care, by making health data discoverable and accessible for research by National Health Service, academic and commercial organisations. The PIONEER protocol incorporates principles identified in the public/patient workshops. This includes all data access requests being reviewed by the Data Trust Committee, a group of public citizens who advise on whether requests should be supported prior to licensed access.

Ethics and dissemination

East Midlands–Derby REC (20/EM/0158): Confidentiality Advisory Group (20/CAG/0084).