The Data Linkage Branch (DLB) strongly recommends Data Applicants read through the relevant policies and processes before submitting an Application for Data. Access to WA linked data is granted to approved Data Applicants who meet the requirements of:

Strict protocols must be followed to ensure the confidentiality and security of linked data. Wherever possible, analysis should be conducted on data that has had identifying fields such as name, address and date of birth removed.

The following policies must be read and adhered to for requests for Department of Health data:

Access Principles

Access to linked data must be consistent with WA Health policies and the disclosure models of each data collection requested. Projects must comply with the following requirements. They must:

  • be of public benefit or wellbeing
  • be aimed at understanding and improving the health and wellbeing of WA people
  • be of scientific merit
  • include an undertaking to report results in the public domain within a specified timeframe
  • be approved by the relevant Data Provider(s)
  • have access to appropriate facilities and resources to undertake the proposed project
  • be conducted in accordance with the applicable legislation, regulations and guidelines

Applications will be accepted from investigators who can demonstrate sufficient training and experience to undertake the analyses, and who are affiliated with recognised institutions that accept responsibility for conduct of the project. Linked data extracts may be provided for:

  • research projects that contribute to the promotion, protection and maintenance of the health and wellbeing of the people of WA
  • planning, evaluation and delivery of health and social services
  • improvement in research methodologies, data interpretation, link quality assessment, and development of advanced statistical techniques.

Applications will not be accepted where:

  • the purpose relates to clinical governance, auditing, monitoring or surveillance of individual patients or clinicians
  • it is supported by private funding, unless there is evidence that there is no real or perceived conflict of interest by the funding organisation
  • there is potential for commercial gain or competitive advantage insofar as profit, price, product (e.g. proprietary software), service or customer base.
  • it involves the addition of major new linkage infrastructure to the WADLS without sufficient funding available for initial development or ongoing operational costs.

Prioritisation of access

  • linked data extracts will usually be provided on a ‘first come first served’ basis, but the following factors may be taken into consideraiton:
    • data availability
    • public interest
    • availability of resources
    • complexity of the project
    • technical and logistical feasibility
    • priority research areas determined b y the WA Director General of Health, WA Minister for Health, the Australian Health Ministers’ Conference or the National Health and Medical Research Council

Conditions of Use

  • Data provided can only be used for the specific project that has been approved. It must not be combined with other datasets or used for other projects without approval from the Data Custodians and the Department of Health HREC
  • Only the approved personnel listed in the Application for Data may have access to the data extract
  • Data extracts or client lists for linkage must never be sent via email
  • Data should always be encrypted when transported
  • When stored on a computer, disc or other media, data files must always be password protected
  • All resulting draft manuscripts, reports and presentations must be sent to the DLB and Data Custodians before publication, allowing 14 days for comment
  • All publications must acknowledge the Data Collections and DLB (FAQ. no. 10), and all final copies must be sent to the DLB as they become publicly available