Transformation Directorate

Practical applications of the Value Sharing Framework

Published 27 November 2023

The value sharing framework and guide to effective NHS data partnerships outline a set of guiding commercial principles to help NHS organisations negotiate fair terms for NHS data partnerships.

Since their launch in July 2023, NHS organisations, external partners and industry bodies have contacted us asking for clarification on several areas.  Based on this feedback we have provided a more detailed summary of what these changes will mean in practice

Commercial Principles

The value sharing framework outlines that the NHS should seek a fair share of any value arising from a data partnership proportionate to the NHS's contribution to that value. The NHS contribution will vary by project and will factor in the source data and any clinical or analytical expertise.  For partnerships with commercial uses, value shares can be agreed upfront using a range of approaches including upfront payments, subscription payments, milestone payments or revenue royalties. For partnerships with non-commercial uses of data, ‘consent to commercialise’ clauses in initial agreements can allow for the negotiation of financial value sharing in the future.​ Chapter 4 of the guide to effective NHS data partnerships describes this process in further detail.

Revenue royalties are likely to be used in only a minority of cases, and in particularly in those where the partner expresses a preference for this approach.  The public deliberation showed most participants support the NHS taking a proportion of income generated from products or innovation as a result of accessing healthcare data. In some cases, the NHS organisations and partners may feel upfront payments, subscription payments or milestone payments are appropriate for their data and staff expertise.  In other instances, parties may feel that other mechanisms such as revenue royalties are appropriate to use.

Whichever approach is taken it is important that NHS organisations have a well-designed method to reflect all the costs of providing access to data for a partnership, along with an agreed value share, that is both fair and in keeping with Principle 1 that access costs should not be prohibitive to good uses of data.

NHS organisations should ensure that in developing the partnership that the position taken by the NHS does not stifle innovation and uses of data. This is likely to mean that revenue royalties are not an appropriate solution for many types of research, where this approach would be a disincentive to the partner.

How this applies to the NHS Research Secure Data Environment Network

The NHS Research SDE Network, includes the NHS England SDE and 11 Sub National SDEs. The NHS Research SDE Network will adopt the commercial principles, but pricing models may differ across the network based upon any unique or bespoke service offerings and data assets available.

The NHS Research SDE Network will have varied data and service offerings available to customers in addition to more standard offers.  Support will be provided to the national and sub-national teams to encourage alignment to the commercial principles.  Doing this will incentivise cohesion across the SDE network making it easier for researchers to know the costs of accessing data.

The pricing mechanisms the NHS Research SDE Network will put in place are predominantly for cost recovery and not to deter good uses of data.  These should reflect commercial principle 1 (the cost of access should not prohibit good uses of data) and commercial principle 2 (the NHS will always charge a fee for accessing health data).  In instances where surplus income is generated the NHS Research SDE Network will be able to reinvest this in a number of ways.  For example, this could be by building new services, providing central coordination or investing in local NHS services.

SDEs will support external organisations to bring their own data and code. Both data and code brought into SDEs will be checked to ensure that they support safe research, for example, there are no patient identifiers included in error, or malicious code introduced. Data brought into the SDE can be linked to other data so long as the correct governance and research approvals are in place to do so, linkage will form a core offer of most SDEs.

NHS England have a cost recovery model for the national SDE, which was introduced to certain customers who migrated over to the updated platform. NHS England expect to review this cost recovery model to align with the commercial principles, in addition, we will also consider feedback from data end users.