Patient data from GP medical records, stored by GP practices in England is used every day to improve health, care and related services through planning and research, helping to find better treatments and improve patient care. The NHS is introducing an improved way to share this information – called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection.
NHS Digital will collect, analyse, publish, and share this patient data to improve health and care services for everyone, including your individual health care needs. 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
Any data that NHS Digital collects will only be used for health and care purposes. It is never shared with marketing or insurance companies.
What patient data they collect
This collection will start from 1 July 2021. Patient data will be collected from GP medical records about:
- any living patient registered at a GP
- any patient who died after the data collection started, and was previously registered at a GP practice in England when the data collection started
They will not collect your name or where you live.
Other data that could directly identify you, for example:
- NHS number,
- General Practice Local Patient Number,
- full postcode
- date of birth,
is replaced with unique codes which are produced by de-identification software before the data is shared with NHS Digital.
This process is called pseudonymisation and means that no one will be able to directly identify you in the data.
Opting out of NHS Digital using your data
If you do not wish to have your personal identifiable data to be used to assist the NHS in developing new improved care and treatment in this way, you can Opt Out.
Type 1 Opt Out – This means your individual medical data will not leave the practice. It will not be shared with NHS Digital or any other organisation except where it is for your individual direct care.
How to apply this – the patient has to inform the practice by way of a form or verbally that they wish to apply a Type 1 Opt Out.
National Data Opt Out – This means that a Patient’s data will be shared with NHS Digital but will not be used for Planning or Research.
A Patient may also
Opt out of having a Summary Care Record – SCR
A Summary Care Record is a minimal data set which is shared by the Practice to create a basic record in NHS Digital. This will be used by other NHS Organisations to provide the patient with individual health care. The record contains important health care information such as current conditions, medication, and allergies. This is important for emergency care.
How to request this – complete form and send to practice.
If you wish to have a Type 1 Opt Out applied before the first NHS Digital data collection, you will need to inform your practice by 23rd June 2021. You can request any of the opt outs at any time, and your data will not be collected for future data collections.
No Personal Identifiable data is used for Planning or Research.
Further information regarding this topic can be found online at www.digital.nhs.uk.