NHS Digital have recently announced it is setting up a new primary care data collection service, with the new data collection process to begin from the 1st July 2021.
The General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection will help the NHS to improve health and care services for everyone.
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
Your GP practice will already share patient data for these purposes, but this new data collection will be more efficient and effective. This is similar to General Practice Extraction Service (GPES), which has operated for over 10 years and now needs to be replaced. In addition to replacing what GPES already does, the GPDfPR service will also help to support:
- research the long-term impact of coronavirus on the population
- analyse healthcare inequalities
- research and develop cures for serious illnesses
NHS Digital will not collect patients’ names or addresses. Any other data that could directly identify patients (such as NHS Number, date of birth, full postcode) will be replaced with unique codes which are produced by de-identification software before the data is shared with NHS Digital. This process is known as pseudonymisation.
Although please note NHS Digital will be able to use software to convert the unique codes back to data that could directly identify patients in certain circumstances, and where there is a valid legal reason.
Can patients opt out?
Yes. Although the data going across to NHS Digital will be pseudonymised there may be a chance that a patient needs to be re-identified as explained above. A patient may not want this and may want to opt out of this data collection completely. Patients can opt out of their data being used for research and planning purposes. The patient can opt-out through the National Data Opt Out Service: https://digital.nhs.uk/services/national-data-opt-out or by calling the Service on 0300 3035678.
This collection will start on 1 July 2021, so if you do not want your data to be shared with NHS Digital please register your Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice by 23 June 2021.
Please refer to the following link for additional details: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research