Data sharing with NHS Digital will start on 25 August (update)

The NHS needs data about the patients it treats in order to plan and deliver its services and to ensure that care and treatment provided is safe and effective. The General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection will help the NHS to improve health and care services for everyone by collecting patient data that can be used to do this. For example patient data can help the NHS to:

  • monitor the long-term safety and effectiveness of care
  • plan how to deliver better health and care services
  • prevent the spread of infectious diseases
  • identify new treatments and medicines through health research

GP practices already share patient data for these purposes, but this new data collection will be more efficient and effective.

We have agreed to share the patient data we look after in our practice with NHS Digital who will securely store, analyse, publish and share this patient data to improve health and care services for everyone. This includes:

  • informing and developing health and social care policy
  • planning and commissioning health and care services
  • taking steps to protect public health (including managing and monitoring the coronavirus pandemic)
  • in exceptional circumstances, providing you with individual care 
  • enabling healthcare and scientific research

This means that we can get on with looking after our patients and NHS Digital can provide controlled access to patient data to the NHS and other organisations who need to use it to improve health and care for everyone.

Contributing to research projects will benefit us all as better and safer treatments are introduced more quickly and effectively without compromising your privacy and confidentiality.

What data is shared about you with NHS Digital

This data will be shared from 1 July 2021. Data may be shared from the GP medical records about:

  • any living patient registered at a GP practice in England when the collection started – this includes children and adults
  • any patient who died after this data sharing started, and was previously registered at a GP practice in England when the data collection started

We will not share your name or where you live. Any other data that could directly identify you, for example your NHS number, General Practice Local Patient Number, full postcode and date of birth, is replaced with unique codes which are produced by de-identification software before the data is shared with NHS Digital.

The data we share

We will share structured and coded data from GP medical records that is needed for specific health and social care purposes explained above.

Opting out

If you don’t want your identifiable patient data (personally identifiable data in the diagram above) to be shared for purposes except for your own care, you can opt-out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out or a National Data Opt-out, or both. 

Type 1 Opt-out (opting out of NHS Digital collecting your data)

If you do not want your patient data shared with NHS Digital for the purposes above, you can register a Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice. You can register a Type 1 Opt-out at any time. You can also change your mind at any time and withdraw a Type 1 Opt-out.

If you wish to register a Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice before data sharing starts with NHS Digital, this should be done by returning this form to your GP practice by 25 August 2021 (Extended from July) to allow time for processing it. If you have previously registered a Type 1 Opt-out and you would like to withdraw this, you can also use the form to do this. You can send the form by post or email to your GP practice or call 0300 3035678 for a form to be sent out to you.

National Data Opt-out (opting out of NHS Digital sharing your data)

This applies to identifiable patient data about your health (personally identifiable data in the diagram above), which is called confidential patient information. If you don’t want your confidential patient information to be shared by NHS Digital with other organisations for purposes except your own care – either GP data, or other data it holds, such as hospital data – you can register a National Data Opt-out.

 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ADVICE

Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough or loss/change to sense of smell or taste.

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