How the NHS uses your patient data from GP practices to improve health and care

How sharing patient data with NHS Digital helps the NHS and you

Please use the following link for more information General Practice Data for Planning and Research: NHS Digital

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.

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.

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

If you do not want your identifiable patient data 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 September 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 can be done by completing our online form HERE or you can download the form HERE and return it to your GP practice. If you have previously registered a Type 1 Opt-out and you would like to withdraw this, you can also use the form. 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.

National Data Opt out

If you are happy for NHS Digital to extract your identifiable data for care and planning then you do not need to register a Type 1 Opt out but you will need to register a National Data Opt out if you do not want NHS Digital to share your identifiable patient data with other organisations for purposes beyond your own care, ie planning and research. For information regarding this and how to opt out can be found here National Data Opt-out.

Thank you Shore Medical

Lee Wilkins

Author Lee Wilkins

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