This leaflet explains:
• Why the NHS collects information about you and how it is used.
- Who we may share information with.
- Your right to see your health records and how we keep your records confidential.
GPES data extraction for pandemic planning and research (COVID-19)
Talbot Medical Centre, in common will all other GP surgeries, is legally obliged to extract personal confidential data from our patients’ GP records and upload them to NHS Digital for COVID-19 pandemic planning and research purposes.
Will is be asked for my permission before this happens
NO. The requirement to obtain the explicit permission of patients before any such extraction is set aside by means of the legal obligation, enacted under s259 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012
What information about me is uploaded?
The data which NHS Digital will collect and analyse contains NHS Number, postcode, address, surname, forename, sex, ethnicity, date of birth and date of death. It will also include coded health data which is held in your GP record such as details of diagnoses and findings, medications and other prescribed items, investigations, tests and results, treatments and outcomes, vaccinations and immunisations.
What happens to my information once uploaded to NHS Digital?
That information can then be provided to organisations (such as CCGs and researchers) for purposes related to COVID-19. Applications to access that information will be strictly controlled. NHS Digital will do this through their Data Access Request Service (DARS) with advice on requests for data from this collection from the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD) along with consultation with profession representatives at the RCGP and the BMA.
Does my surgery have to comply with this?
YES. We are legally mandated to.
Do I have to allow my records to be processed in this way?
- NO. You have the right to object (i.e. to opt-out).
This type of data processing is a “secondary use” of personal data, that is for purposes other than your direct medical care, and as such:
- The legal basis (to meet the Common Law of Confidentiality) for this data extraction is section 259 of the Health and Social Care Act
- GP surgeries are required by law to make fair processing information available to patients about this data extraction (such as this leaflet)
- Patients have the right to object to this use of their data (i.e. to opt-out). This will not affect your entitlement to medical care in any way, either from the surgery or from any hospital.
What if I opt-out?
Your data will not be extracted and uploaded to NHS Digital for this purpose. Your data remains fully available to your GP surgery and, in all the other ways that Talbot Medical Centre shares your GP record, to external organisations such as NHS 111, the GP out-of-hours service, the ambulance service, A&E etc.
So how do I opt-out?
You can opt-out of all secondary uses of your GP information, including this data extraction, by filling in our opt-out form at the back of this leaflet (and which you can also find in our “Your Medical Records” booklet). If you have already opted out of secondary uses (e.g. if you had opted out of risk stratification for case finding) then your data will automatically be prohibited from extraction and uploading to NHS Digital for this particular purpose. You do not need to opt-out again. If you are not sure whether you have already opted-out of secondary uses, then you can simply opt-out now, to be certain.
A Type 1 secondary use objection will in no way affect how healthcare professionals provide you with direct medical care or prevent them from accessing your medical record if and when appropriate, and with your explicit permission. Secondary uses are not about information sharing between healthcare professionals.
Where can I find more information?