The data held in the GP medical records of patients is used every day to support health and care planning and research in England, helping to find better treatments and improve patient outcomes for everyone.
NHS Digital has developed a new way to collect this data, called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) data collection.
The new data collection reduces burden on GP practices, allowing doctors and other staff to focus on patient care and commences 1 July 2021. Following national discussions, the planned ‘go live’ date for GPDPR data collection has been deferred until 1 September 2021.
Further to the announcement made 8 June, the implementation of GP Data for Planning and Research has been deferred to provide more time to speak with patients, doctors, health charities and others.
The Data Provision Notice has, therefore, been withdrawn and no action is required by GP practices or GP system suppliers in response to it.
Patients who want to find out more about, or register a national data opt-out can view nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters or call 0300 3035678.
The following link provides further information for the public, including a short YouTube video:
NHS Digital is the national custodian for health and care data in England and has responsibility for standardising, collecting, analysing, publishing and sharing data and information from across the health and social care system, including general practice.
NHS Digital previously collected patient data from general practices using a service called the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES), which has operated for over 10 years and now needs to be replaced with the GPDPR.
Patient data collected from general practice is needed to support a wide variety of research and analysis to help run and improve health and care services. Whilst the data collected in other care settings such as hospitals is valuable in understanding and improving specific services, it is the patient data in general practice that helps understanding of whether the health and care system as a whole is working for patients.
In addition to replacing what GPES already does, the GPDPR service will also help to support the planning and Commissioning of health and care services, the development of health and care policy, public health monitoring and interventions (including coronavirus (COVID-19) and enable many different areas of research.
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) 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 patients will not be identified directly in the data. NHS Digital will be able to use the 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.
If patient's do not want their identifiable patient data to be shared for purposes except for their own care, they can opt-out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out or a National Data Opt-out, or both. These opt-outs are different, and they are explained in Section 6 in the link below.
For more information, please see NHS Digital's 'GP Data for Planning and Research Transparency Notice', including information about the application of Type 1 Opt-out or National Data Opt-out