General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Your information, what you need to know

This privacy notice explains why we collect information about you, how that information may be used, how we keep it safe and confidential and what your rights are in relation to this.

 

Why we collect information about you

Health care professionals who provide you with care are required by law to maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received within any NHS organisation. These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare and help us to protect your safety.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

We collect and hold data for providing healthcare services to our patients and running our organisation which includes monitoring the quality of care that we provide. In carrying out this role we may collect information about you which helps us respond to your queries or secure specialist services. We may keep your information in written form and/or in digital form.

The records may include basic details about you, such as your name and address. They may also contain more sensitive information about your health and also information such as outcomes of needs assessments.

 

Details we collect about you

The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously (e.g. from Hospitals, GP Surgeries, A&E, etc.). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.

Records which this GP Practice may hold about you include the following:

  • Details about you, such as your address and next of kin
  • Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, emergency appointments, etc.
  • Notes and reports about your health
  • Details about your treatment and care
  • Results of investigations, such as laboratory tests, x-rays, etc.
  • Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or your carers
 

How we keep your information confidential and safe

Everyone working for our organisation is subject to the Common Law Duty of Confidence. Information provided in confidence will only be used for the purposes advised with consent given by the patient, unless there are other circumstances covered by the law. The NHS Digital Code of Practice on Confidential Information applies to all NHS staff and they are required to protect your information, inform you of how your information will be used, and allow you to decide if and how your information can be shared. All our staff are expected to make sure information is kept confidential and receive regular training on how to do this.

The health records we use may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both, and we use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Your records are backed up securely in line with NHS standard procedures. We ensure that the information we hold is kept in secure locations, is protected by appropriate security and access is restricted to authorised personnel.

We also make sure external data processors that support us are legally and contractually bound to operate and prove security arrangements are in place where data that could or does identify a person are processed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:

  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • Human Rights Act
  • Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
  • NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Information Security
  • Health and Social Care Act 2015
  • And all applicable legislation

We maintain our duty of confidentiality to you at all times. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if we reasonably believe that others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to any third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (such as a risk of serious harm to yourself or others) or where the law requires information to be passed on.

 

How we use your information

Improvements in information technology are also making it possible for us to share data with other healthcare organisations for providing you, your family and your community with better care. For example, it is possible for healthcare professionals in other services to access your record with your permission when the practice is closed. This is explained further in the Local Information Sharing section below.

Under the powers of the Health and Social Care Act 2015, NHS Digital can request personal confidential data from GP Practices without seeking patient consent for a number of specific purposes, which are set out in law. These purposes are explained below.

You may choose to withdraw your consent to personal data being shared for these purposes. When we are about to participate in a new data-sharing project we aim to display prominent notices in the Practice and on our website four weeks before the scheme is due to start.

Instructions will be provided to explain what you have to do to ‘opt-out’ of the new scheme. Please be aware that it may not be possible to opt out of one scheme and not others, so you may have to opt out of all the schemes if you do not wish your data to be shared.

You can object to your personal information being shared with other healthcare providers but should be aware that this may, in some instances, affect your care as important information about your health might not be available to healthcare staff in other organisations. If this limits the treatment that you can receive then the practice staff will explain this to you at the time you object.

To ensure you receive the best possible care, your records are used to facilitate the care you receive. Information held about you may be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us manage the NHS.

 

Child Health Information

We wish to make sure that your child has the opportunity to have immunisations and health checks when they are due. We share information about childhood immunisations, the 6-8 week new baby check and breast-feeding status with NHS CLCH health visitors and school nurses, and with NWL Commissioning Support Unit, who provide the Child Health Information Service on behalf of NHS England.

 

Clinical audit

Information may be used by the CCG for clinical audit to monitor the quality of the service provided to patients with long terms conditions. Some of this information may be held centrally and used for statistical purposes (e.g. the National Diabetes Audit). When this happens, strict measures are taken to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified from the data.

 

Clinical Research

Sometimes anonymised data may be used for research purposes – but we will always ask your permission before releasing any information for this purpose which could be used to identify you.

 

Improving Diabetes Care and long-term condition management

Information that does not identify individual patients is used to enable focussed discussions to take place at practice-led local diabetes and long term condition management review meetings between health care professionals. This enables the professionals to improve the management and support of these patients.

 

Individual Funding Request

An ‘Individual Funding Request’ is a request made on your behalf, with your consent, by a clinician, for funding of specialised healthcare which falls outside the range of services and treatments that CCG has agreed to commission for the local population. An Individual Funding Request is taken under

consideration when a case can be set out by a patient’s clinician that there are exceptional clinical circumstances which make the patient’s case different from other patients with the same condition

who are at the same stage of their disease, or when the request is for a treatment that is regarded as new or experimental and where there are no other similar patients who would benefit from this treatment. A detailed response, including the criteria considered in arriving at the decision, will be provided to the patient’s clinician.

 

Invoice Validation

Invoice validation is an important process. It involves using your NHS number to check which CCG is responsible for paying for your treatment. Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 provides a statutory legal basis to process data for invoice validation purposes. We can also use your NHS number to check whether your care has been funded through specialist commissioning, which NHS England will pay for. The process makes sure that the organisations providing your care are paid correctly.

 

Local Information Sharing

Your GP electronic patient record is held securely and confidentially on an electronic system managed by your registered GP practice. If you require attention from a local health or care professional outside of your usual practice services, such as in an Evening and Weekend GP HUB services, Emergency Department, Minor Injury Unit or Out Of Hours service, the professionals treating you are better able to give you safe and effective care if some of the information from your GP record is available to them. If those services use a TPP clinical system your full SystmOne medical record will only be shared with your express consent.

Where available, this information can be shared electronically with other local healthcare providers via a secure system designed for this purpose. Depending on the service you are using and your health needs, this may involve the healthcare professional accessing a secure system that enables them to

view either parts of your GP electronic patient record (e.g. your Summary Care Record) or a secure system that enables them to view your full GP electronic patient record (e.g. TPP SystmOne medical records or EMIS remote consulting system).

In all cases, your information is only accessed and used by authorised staff who are involved in providing or supporting your direct care. Your permission will be asked before the information is accessed, other than in exceptional circumstances (e.g. emergencies) if the healthcare professional is unable to ask you and this is deemed to be in your best interests (which will then be logged).

This practice uses the TPP SystmOne software, you are able to choose whether other health and care providers can access your information to help provide you with care. More information about this, and how to do so, can be found here:

 

National Fraud Initiative - Cabinet Office

The use of data by the Cabinet Office for data matching is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 2018. Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice. 

FIND OUT MORE

 

National Registries

National Registries (such as the Learning Disabilities Register) have statutory permission under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006, to collect and hold service user identifiable information without the need to seek informed consent from each individual service user.

 

Risk Stratification

‘Risk stratification for case finding’ is a process for identifying and managing patients who have or may be at-risk of health conditions (such as diabetes) or who are most likely to need healthcare services (such as people with frailty). Risk stratification tools used in the NHS help determine a person’s risk of suffering a particular condition and enable us to focus on preventing ill health before it develops.

Information about you is collected from a number of sources including NHS Trusts, GP Federations and your GP Practice. A risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of your de-identified information. This can help us identify and offer you additional services to improve your health.

Risk-stratification data may also be used to improve local services and commission new services, where there is an identified need. In this area, risk stratification may be commissioned by the NWL Clinical Commissioning Groups. Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 provides a statutory legal basis to process data for risk stratification purposes. 

FIND OUT MORE

If you do not wish information about you to be included in any risk stratification programmes, please let us know. We can add a code to your records that will stop your information from being used for this purpose. Please be aware that this may limit the ability of healthcare professionals to identify if you have or are at risk of developing certain serious health conditions.

 

Safeguarding

To ensure that adult and children’s safeguarding matters are managed appropriately, access to identifiable information will be shared in some limited circumstances where it’s legally required for the safety of the individuals concerned.

 

Summary Care Record (SCR)

The NHS in England uses a national electronic record called the Summary Care Record (SCR) to support patient care. It contains key information from your GP record. Your SCR provides authorised healthcare staff with faster, secure access to essential information about you in an emergency or when you need unplanned care, where such information would otherwise be unavailable.

Summary Care Records are there to improve the safety and quality of your care. SCR core information comprises your allergies, adverse reactions and medications. An SCR with additional information can also include reason for medication, vaccinations, significant diagnoses / problems, significant procedures, anticipatory care information and end of life care information. Additional information can only be added to your SCR with your agreement.

Please be aware that if you choose to opt-out of SCR, NHS healthcare staff caring for you outside of this surgery may not be aware of your current medications, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines you have had, in order to treat you safely in an emergency. Your records will stay as they are now with information being shared by letter, email, fax or phone. If you wish to opt- out of having an SCR please return a completed opt-out form to the practice.

 

Supporting Medicines Management

Clinical Commissioning Groups use pharmacist and prescribing advice services to support local GP practices with prescribing queries, which may require identifiable information to be shared. These pharmacists work with your usual GP to provide advice on medicines and prescribing queries, and review prescribing of medicines to ensure that it is appropriate for your needs, safe and cost-effective. Where specialist prescribing support is required, the CCG medicines management team may provide relating to obtaining medications on behalf of your GP Practice to support your care.

 

GDPR and NWL CCGs’ Medicines Management Teams:

This general practice works with NHS clinical pharmacists and NHS pharmacy technicians to help  optimise our prescribing.  Use of medicines has increased over the years and many people are prescribed more than one medicine.  The potential for avoidable side-effects, drug interactions and waste is considerable, and working with NHS clinical pharmacists and pharmacy technicians helps us to minimise these risks. NHS clinical pharmacists and technicians view patient’s records when undertaking this work.

The lawful basis for the information processing the work outlined above entails is: processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the data controller.

The ‘condition for processing’ is: processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services on the basis of Union or Data subject State law or pursuant to contract with a health professional.

We hope you will understand the value of this work in helping to keep you safe, optimising the prescriptions we write and minimising avoidable waste of resources that could pay for other treatments, but you have the right to object to the work outlined above.

 

Supporting Locally Commissioned Services

CCGs support GP practices by auditing anonymised data to monitor locally commissioned services, measure prevalence and support data quality. The data does not include identifiable information and is used to support patient care and ensure providers are correctly paid for the services they provide.

 

Suspected Cancer

Data may be analysed in cases of suspected cancer by The Royal Marsden NHS TrustThe Royal Brompton HospitalImperial College Healthcare NHS Trust , Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation TrustLondon North West Healthcare NHS Trust and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to facilitate the prevention, early diagnosis and management of illness. Measures are taken to ensure the data for analysis does not identify individual patients.

 

Data Retention

We manage patient records in line with the Records Management NHS Code of Practice for Health and Social Care which sets the required standards of practice in the management of records for those who work within or under contract to NHS organisations in England, based on current legal requirements and professional best practice.

 

Who are our partner organisations?

We may also have to share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used, with the following organisations:

  • NHS Trusts
  • Specialist Trusts
  • GP Federations
  • Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
  • Private Sector Providers
  • Voluntary Sector Providers
  • Ambulance Trusts
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Social Care Services
  • Local Authorities
  • Education Services
  • Fire and Rescue Services
  • Police
  • Other ‘data processors’

Specific details of the organisations with whom we share your data can be seen here:

West London

We will never share your information outside of health partner organisations without your explicit consent unless there are exceptional circumstances such as when the health or safety of others is at risk, where the law requires it or to carry out a statutory function.

Within the health partner organisations (NHS and Specialist Trusts) and in relation to the above mentioned themes – Risk Stratification, Invoice Validation, Supporting Medicines Management, Summary Care Record – we will assume you are happy to for your information to be shared unless you choose to opt-out (see below).

This means you will need to express an explicit wish to not have your information shared with the other organisations; otherwise it will be automatically shared. We are required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. This is only provided after formal permission has been given by a qualified health professional. There are occasions when we must pass on information, such as notification of new births, where we encounter infectious diseases which may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS), and where a formal court order has been issued. Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strictest confidence.

 

Right to withdraw consent to share personal information (Opt- Out)

If you are happy for your data to be extracted and used for the purposes described in this privacy notice then you do not need to do anything. If you do not want your information to be used for

any purpose beyond providing your care you can choose to opt-out. If you wish to do so, please let us know so we can code your record appropriately. We will respect your decision if you do not wish your information to be used for any purpose other than your care but in some circumstances we may still be legally required to disclose your data.

There are two main types of opt-out.

 
Type 1 Opt-Out

If you do not want information that identifies you to be shared outside the practice, for purposes beyond your direct care, you can register a ‘Type 1 Opt-Out’This prevents your personal confidential information from being used other than in particular circumstances required by law, such as a public health emergency like an outbreak of a pandemic disease.

 
Type 2 Opt-Out

NHS Digital collects information from a range of places where people receive care, such as hospitals and community services. If you do not want your personal confidential information to be shared outside of NHS Digital, for purposes other than for your direct care, you can register a ‘Type 2 Opt-Out’. For further information about Type 2 Opt-Outs, please contact NHS Digital Contact Centre at enquiries@hscic.gov.uk referencing ‘Type 2 Opt-Outs – Data Requests’ in the subject line; or call NHS Digital on (0300) 303 5678; or visit the website 

If you wish to discuss or change your opt-out preferences at any time please contact:

Practice Manager: Alesandra Iglesias

Telephone: 0207 727 2222

 Email: Pembridge.prescription@nhs.net (please include ‘ FAO Alesandra Iglesias’ in the email title please)

NHS Digital is developing a new system to give you more control over how your identifiable information is used. Details on the national data opt-out may be found here

 

Access to your information

Under the Data Protection Act 2018 everybody has the right to see, or have a copy, of data we hold that can identify you, with some exceptions. You do not need to give a reason to see your data. If you want to access your data you must make the request in writing. Under special circumstances, some information may be withheld.

If you wish to have a copy of the information we hold about you, please fill in the Subject Access Request Forms here or contact:

Practice Manager: Alesandra Iglesias

Telephone: 0207 727 2222

Email: Pembridge.prescription@nhs.net

(please include ‘FAO Alesandra Iglesias’ in the email title please)

 

Change of Details

It is important that you tell the person treating you if any of your details such as your name or address have changed or if any of your details are incorrect in order for this to be amended. Please inform us of any changes so our records for you are accurate and up to date.

 
Mobile telephone number

If you provide us with your mobile phone number we may use this to send you reminders about your appointments or other health screening information. Please let us know if you do not wish to receive reminders on your mobile.

 

Notification

The Data Protection Act 2018 requires organisations to register a notification with the Information Commissioner to describe the purposes for which they process personal and sensitive information.

We are registered as a data controller and our registration can be viewed online in the public register here

Any changes to this notice will be published on our website and in a prominent area at the Practice.

 

Complaints

If you have concerns or are unhappy about any of our services, please contact:

Practice Manager: Alesandra Iglesias

Telephone: 0207 727 2222

Email: Pembridge.prescription@nhs.net (please include ‘ FAO Alesandra Iglesias’ in the email title please)

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data-sharing issues, you can contact:

The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113     

Website: www.ico.orguk

 

Information we are required to provide you

Data Controller contact details 

 

Dr Philip Reid

Pembridge Villas Surgery

45 Pembridge Villas

W11 3EP

TEL: 0207 727 2222

EMAIL: PEMBRIDGE.PRESCRIPTION@NHS.NET (Please include ‘FAO DR REID’ in the email title please)

Data Protection Officer contact details

Dr. Ernest Norman-Williams : nwl.infogovernance@nhs.net

Purpose of the processing for the provision of your healthcare

  • To give direct health or social care to individual patients.
  • For example, when a patient agrees to a referral for direct care, such as to a hospital, relevant information about the patient will be shared with the other healthcare staff to enable them to give appropriate advice, investigations, treatments and/or care.
  • To check and review the quality of care. (This is called audit and clinical governance).

Lawful basis for processing

for the provision of your healthcare

 

These purposes are supported under the following sections of the GDPR:

 

Article 6(1)(e) ‘…necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority…’; and

Article 9(2)(h) ‘necessary for the purposes of preventative or occupational medicine for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services...” 

Healthcare staff will also respect and comply with their obligations under the common law duty of confidence.

Purpose of the processing for medical research and to measure quality of care

Medical research and to check the quality of care which is given to patients (this is called national clinical audit).

Lawful basis for processing for medical research and to measure the quality of care

The following sections of the GDPR mean that we can use medical records for research and to check the quality of care (national clinical audits)

Article 6(1)(e) – ‘processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller’.

For medical research: there are two possible conditions.

Either:

Article 9(2)(a) – ‘the data subject has given explicit consent…’

Or:

Article 9(2)(j) – ‘processing is necessary for… scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) based on Union or Member States law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and interests of the data subject’.

To check the quality of care (clinical audit):

Article 9(2)(h) – ‘processing is necessary for the purpose of preventative…medicine…the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services...’

Purpose of the processing to meet legal requirements

Compliance with legal obligations or court order.

Lawful basis for processing to meet legal requirements

These purposes are supported under the following sections of the GDPR:

Article 6(1)(c) – ‘processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject…’

Article 9(2)(h) – ‘processing is necessary for the purpose of preventative…medicine…the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services...’

Purpose of the processing for National screening programmes

  • The NHS provides several national health screening programmes to detect diseases or conditions early such as cervical and breast cancer, aortic aneurysm and diabetes.
  • The information is shared so that the correct people are invited for screening. This means those who are most at risk can be offered treatment.

Lawful basis for processing

for National screening programmes

The following sections of the GDPR allow us to contact patients for screening.

Article 6(1)(e) – ‘processing is necessary…in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller...’’

Article 9(2)(h) – ‘processing is necessary for the purpose of preventative…medicine…the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services...’

Rights to object

  • You have the right to object to information being shared between those who are providing you with direct care.
  • This may affect the care you receive – please speak to the practice.
  • You are not able to object to your name, address and other demographic information being sent to NHS Digital.
  • This is necessary if you wish to be registered to receive NHS care.
  • You are not able to object when information is legitimately shared for safeguarding reasons.
  • In appropriate circumstances it is a legal and professional requirement to share information for safeguarding reasons. This is to protect people from harm.
  • The information will be shared with the local safeguarding service:

Kensington & Chelsea Social Services – Children & Adults

In-Hours Tel:  0207 361 3013

Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team  Tel: 0207 373 2227

Secure Email: socialservices@rbkc.gov.uk.cjsm.net

Right to access and correct

  • You have the right to access your medical record and have any errors or mistakes corrected. Please speak to a member of staff or look at our ‘subject access request’ policy on the practice website
  • We are not aware of any circumstances in which you will have the right to delete correct information from your medical record; although you are free to obtain your own legal advice if you believe there is no lawful purpose for which we hold the information and contact us if you hold a different view.

Retention period

GP medical records will be kept in line with the law and national guidance. Information on how long records are kept can be found here

or speak to the practice.

Right to complain

You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. You may follow this link  or call the helpline 0303 123 1113 

Data we get from other organisations

We receive information about your health from other organisations who are involved in providing you with health and social care. For example, if you go to hospital for treatment or an operation the hospital will send us a letter to let us know what happens. This means your GP medical record is kept up-to date when you receive care from other parts of the health service.

 

Further Information

Further information about the way in which the NHS uses personal information and your rights in that respect can be found here:

 

The NHS Care Record Guarantee

The NHS Care Record Guarantee for England sets out the rules that govern how patient information is used in the NHS, what control the patient can have over this, the rights individuals have to request copies of their data and how data is protected under the Data Protection Act 2018.

FIND OUT MORE

 

The NHS Constitution

The NHS Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England. It sets out the rights patients, the public and staff are entitled to. These rights cover how patients access health services, the quality of care you’ll receive, the treatments and programmes available to you, confidentiality, information and your right to complain if things go wrong. 

READ MORE

 

NHS Digital

NHS Digital collects health information from the records health and social care providers keep about the care and treatment they give, to promote health or support improvements in the delivery of care services in England.

NHS Digital Data Collection from the Practice

The NHS needs data about the patients it treats 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.

This means that GPs can get on with looking after their 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.

NHS Digital has engaged with the British Medical Association (BMA)Royal College of GPs (RCGP) and the National Data Guardian (NDG) to ensure relevant safeguards are in place for patients and GP practices.

 

NHS Digital purposes for processing patient data

Patient data from GP medical records kept by GP practices in England is used every day to improve health, care and 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. 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 NHS Digital 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 practice in England when the collection started - this includes children and adults
  • any patient who died after the data collection started, and was previously registered at a GP practice in England when the data collection started

We will not collect your name or where you live. Any other data that could directly identify you, for example 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.

This process is called pseudonymisation and means that no one will be able to directly identify you in the data. The diagram below helps to explain what this means. Using the terms in the diagram, the data we collect would be described as de-personalised.

Image provided by Understanding Patient Data under licence.

NHS Digital will be able to use the same software to convert the unique codes back to data that could directly identify you in certain circumstances, and where there is a valid legal reason. Only NHS Digital has the ability to do this. This would mean that the data became personally identifiable data in the diagram above. An example would be where you consent to your identifiable data being shared with a research project or clinical trial in which you are participating, as they need to know the data is about you.

More information about when we may be able to re-identify the data is in the who we share your patient data with section below.  

 

The Data NHD Digital collect

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

Data that directly identifies you as an individual patient, including your NHS number, General Practice Local Patient Number, full postcode, date of birth and if relevant date of death, is replaced with unique codes produced by de-identification software before it is sent to NHS Digital. This means that no one will be able to directly identify you in the data.

NHS Digital will be able to use the software to convert the unique codes back to data that could directly identify you in certain circumstances, and where there is a valid legal reason. This would mean that the data became personally identifiable in the diagram above. It will still be held securely and protected, including when it is shared by NHS Digital. 

 

NHS Digital will collect

  • data on your sex, ethnicity and sexual orientation
  • clinical codes and data about diagnoses, symptoms, observations, test results, medications, allergies, immunisations, referrals and recalls, and appointments, including information about your physical, mental and sexual health
  • data about staff who have treated you

More detailed information about the patient data we collect is contained in the Data Provision Notice issued to GP practices.

 

NHS Digital Does not collect.

  • your name and address (except for your postcode in unique coded form)
  • written notes (free text), such as the details of conversations with doctors and nurses
  • images, letters and documents
  • coded data that is not needed due to its age – for example medication, referral and appointment data that is over 10 years old
  • coded data that GPs are not permitted to share by law – for example certain codes about IVF treatment, and certain information about gender re-assignment

 

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

If you do not want your identifiable patient data (personally identifiable data in the diagram above) to be shared outside of your GP practice for purposes except for your own care, you can register an opt-out with your GP practice. This is known as a Type 1 Opt-out.

Type 1 Opt-outs were introduced in 2013 for data sharing from GP practices, but may be discontinued in the future as a new opt-out has since been introduced to cover the broader health and care system, called the National Data Opt-out. If this happens people who have registered a Type 1 Opt-out will be informed. More about National Data Opt-outs is in the section Who we share patient data with.

NHS Digital will not collect any patient data for patients who have already registered a Type 1 Opt-out in line with current policy. If this changes patients who have registered a Type 1 Opt-out will be informed.

If you do not want your patient data shared with NHS Digital, 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.

Data sharing with NHS Digital will start on 1 July 2021.

If you have already registered a Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice your data will not be shared with NHS Digital.

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 23 June 2021 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.

If you register a Type 1 Opt-out after your patient data has already been shared with NHS Digital, no more of your data will be shared with NHS Digital. NHS Digital will however still hold the patient data which was shared with us before you registered the Type 1 Opt-out.

If you do not want NHS Digital to share your identifiable patient data (personally identifiable data in the diagram above) with anyone else for purposes beyond your own care, then you can also register a National Data Opt-out. There is more about National Data Opt-outs and when they apply in the National Data Opt-out section below.

 

NHS Digital legal basis for collecting, analysing and sharing patient data.

When we collect, analyse, publish and share patient data, there are strict laws in place that we must follow. Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this includes explaining to you what legal provisions apply under GDPR that allows us to process patient data. The GDPR protects everyone's data.

NHS Digital has been directed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care under the General Practice Data for Planning and Research Directions 2021 to collect and analyse data from GP practices for health and social care purposes including policy, planning, commissioning, public health and research purposes.

NHS Digital is the controller of the patient data collected and analysed under the GDPR jointly with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

All GP practices in England are legally required to share data with NHS Digital for this purpose under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (2012 Act). More information about this requirement is contained in the Data Provision Notice issued by NHS Digital to GP practices.

NHS Digital has various powers to publish anonymous statistical data and to share patient data under sections 260 and 261 of the 2012 Act. It also has powers to share data under other Acts, for example the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.

Regulation 3 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI) also allow confidential patient information to be used and shared appropriately and lawfully in a public health emergency. The Secretary of State has issued legal notices under COPI (COPI Notices) requiring NHS Digital, NHS England and Improvement, arm's-length bodies (such as Public Health England), local authorities, NHS trusts, clinical commissioning groups and GP practices to share confidential patient information to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Any information used or shared during the COVID-19 outbreak will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis to use confidential patient information. 

 The legal basis under GDPR for General Practice Data for Planning and Research

 

How NHS Digital use patient data

NHS Digital will analyse and link the patient data we collect with other patient data we hold to create national data sets and for data quality purposes.

NHS Digital will be able to use the de-identification software to convert the unique codes back to data that could directly identify you in certain circumstances for these purposes, where this is necessary and where there is a valid legal reason. There are strict internal approvals which need to be in place before we can do this and this will be subject to independent scrutiny and oversight by the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD).

These national data  sets are analysed and used by NHS Digital to produce national statistics and management information, including public dashboards about health and social care which are published. We never publish any patient data that could identify you. All data we publish is anonymous statistical data.

For more information about data we publish see Data and Information and Data Dashboards.

We may also carry out analysis on national data sets for data quality purposes and to support the work of others for the purposes set out in Our purposes for processing patient data section above.

 

Who NHS Digital share patient data with

All data which is shared by NHS Digital is subject to robust rules relating to privacy, security and confidentiality and only the minimum amount of data necessary to achieve the relevant health and social care purpose will be shared.

All requests to access patient data from this collection, other than anonymous aggregate statistical data, will be assessed by NHS Digital’s Data Access Request Service, to make sure that organisations have a legal basis to use the data and that it will be used safely, securely and appropriately.

These requests for access to patient data will also be subject to independent scrutiny and oversight by the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD). Organisations approved to use this data will be required to enter into a data sharing agreement with NHS Digital regulating the use of the data.

There are a number of organisations who are likely to need access to different elements of patient data from the General Practice Data for Planning and Research collection. These include but may not be limited to:

  • the Department of Health and Social Care and its executive agencies, including Public Health England and other government departments
  • NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • primary care networks (PCNs), clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and integrated care organisations (ICOs)
  • local authorities
  • research organisations, including universities, charities, clinical research organisations that run clinical trials and pharmaceutical companies

If the request is approved, the data will either be made available within a secure data access environment within NHS Digital infrastructure, or where the needs of the recipient cannot be met this way, as a direct dissemination of data. We plan to reduce the amount of data being processed outside central, secure data environments and increase the data we make available to be accessed via our secure data access environment. For more information read about improved data access in improving our data processing services.

Data will always be shared in the uniquely coded form (de-personalised data in the diagram above) unless in the circumstances of any specific request it is necessary for it to be provided in an identifiable form (personally identifiable data in the diagram above). For example, when express patient consent has been given to a researcher to link patient data from the General Practice for Planning and Research collection to data the researcher has already obtained from the patient.

It is therefore possible for NHS Digital to convert the unique codes back to data that could directly identify you in certain circumstances, and where there is a valid legal reason which permits this without breaching the common law duty of confidentiality. This would include:

  • where the data was needed by a health professional for your own care and treatment
  • where you have expressly consented to this, for example to participate in a clinical trial
  • where there is a legal obligation, for example where the COPI Notices apply - see Our legal basis for collecting, analysing and sharing patient data above for more information on this
  • where approval has been provided by the Health Research Authority or the Secretary of State with support from the Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) under Regulation 5 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI) - this is sometimes known as a ‘section 251 approval’

This would mean that the data was personally identifiable in the diagram above. Re-identification of the data would only take place following approval of the specific request through the Data Access Request Service, and subject to independent assurance by IGARD and consultation with the Professional Advisory Group, which is made up of representatives from the BMA and the RCGP. If you have registered a National Data Opt-out, this would be applied in accordance with the National Data Opt-out policy before any identifiable patient data (personally identifiable data in the diagram above) about you was shared. More about the National Data Opt-out is in the section below.

Details of who we have shared data with, in what form and for what purposes are published on our data release register.

 

Where NHS digital stores patient data

NHS Digital only stores and processes patient data for this data collection within the United Kingdom (UK).

Fully anonymous data (that does not allow you to be directly or indirectly identified), for example statistical data that is published, may be stored and processed outside of the UK. Some of our processors may process patient data outside of the UK. If they do, we will always ensure that the transfer outside of the UK complies with data protection laws.

 

Where do we store your information electronically?

All the personal data we process is processed by our staff in the UK however for the purposes of IT hosting and maintenance this information may be located on servers within the European Union.

No 3rd parties have access to your personal data unless the law allows them to do so and appropriate safeguards have been put in place such as a Data Processor as above). We have a Data Protection regime in place to oversee the effective and secure processing of your personal and or special category (sensitive, confidential) data.

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Reviews of and Changes to our Privacy Notice

We will keep our Privacy Notice under regular review.