Your Data Matters to the NHS
In May 2018, the strict rules about how this data can and cannot be used were strengthened. The NHS is committed to keeping patient information safe and always being clear about how it is used.
How your data is used
Your health and care information is used to improve your individual care. It is also used
to help us research new treatments, decide where to put GP clinics and plan for the
number of doctors and nurses in your local hospital. Wherever possible we try to use
data that does not identify you, but sometimes it is necessary to use your
confidential patient information.
What is confidential patient information?
Confidential patient information identifies you and says something about your health,
care or treatment. You would expect this information to be kept private. Information
that only identifies you, like your name and address, is not considered confidential
patient information and may still be used: for example, to contact you if your GP
practice is merging with another.
Who can use your confidential patient data?
It is used by the NHS, local authorities, university and hospital researchers, medical
colleges and pharmaceutical companies researching new treatments.
Making your data opt-out choice
You can choose to opt out of sharing your confidential patient information for research
and planning. There may still be times when your confidential patient information is
used: for example, during an epidemic where there might be a risk to you or to
other people’s health. You can also still consent to take part in a specific
Will choosing this opt-out affect your care and treatment?
No, your confidential patient information will still be used for your individual care.
Choosing to opt out will not affect your care and treatment.
You will still be invited for screening services, such as screenings for bowel cancer.
What should you do next?
You do not need to do anything if you are happy about how your confidential patient
information is used. If you do not want your confidential patient information to be used for
research and planning, you can choose to opt out securely online or through
a telephone service. You can change your choice at any time by visiting:
https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/manage-your-choice/ or telephone 0300 303 567
NOTIFICATION OF CHANGE TO HOW DATA IS STORED
EMIS – THIS IS THE NAME OF THE PRACTICE’S CLINICAL COMPUTER SYSTEM - this is where you will see clinical staff entering information during your consultations and it is where items such as test results and hospital letters are stored for individual patients. The practice has been notified of changes in the way patient data will be stored and details are posted below.
Notification of Data processing changes for EMIS Web GP Practices (Update)
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care published his technology vision, “The Future of Healthcare”, which includes as one of its fundamental principles the concept of ‘Internet first’. In response to this driver there is a requirement in IT Futures, the framework which will be replacing GPSoC, for all systems vendors to adopt a cloud computing policy by July 2021.
EMIS has recently announced its future upgrade programme for EMIS Web to create a more modern, cloud based system with improved interoperability capabilities. They expect this to be a cornerstone that supports GPs and CCGs, facilitating integrated working (including Primary Care Networks) across primary, community, acute and social care. This will not be a ‘big bang’ change; rather it will be a progressive transition over the next few years so as not to disrupt your day to day working.
One key component of this strategy is to remove the reliance on EMIS’ existing hosted data centres and migrate (again, progressively and safely) to a state of the art cloud environment. EMIS has been working closely with NHS Digital to ensure clinical safety and Information Governance sign off, as well as contractual approvals, are all in place.
EMIS’ ongoing commitment to business continuity and to providing the highest level of service to our customers, means that we will be making changes to the way they store data in EMIS Web. With effect from 10th June 2019, EMIS will start storing EMIS Web data in a highly secure, third party cloud hosted environment, namely AmazonWeb Services (“AWS”). The data will remain in the UK at all times and will be fully encrypted both in transit and at rest. In doing this, there will be no change to the control of access to your data and the hosted service provider will not have any access to the decryption keys. AWS is one of the world’s largest cloud companies, already supporting numerous public sector clients (including the NHS), and it offers the very highest levels of security and support.
The first data that will be transferred is clinical documents and over time, other data will follow. Access to this information for interoperability and reporting does not change and all data remains under the control of the practice through the Data Sharing Module in EMIS Web.
General Practice Transparency Notice for GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19)
This practice is supporting vital coronavirus (COVID-19) planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital.
The health and social care system is facing significant pressures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health, social care and other public services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the coronavirus outbreak. In the current emergency it has become even more important to share health and care information across relevant organisations. This practice is supporting vital coronavirus planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital, the national safe haven for health and social care data in England.
Our legal basis for sharing data with NHS Digital
NHS Digital has been legally directed to collect and analyse patient data from all GP practices in England to support the coronavirus response for the duration of the outbreak. NHS Digital will become the controller under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) of the personal data collected and analysed jointly with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, who has directed NHS Digital to collect and analyse this data under the COVID-19 Public Health Directions 2020 (COVID-19 Direction).
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.
Under GDPR our legal basis for sharing this personal data with NHS Digital is Article 6(1)(c) - legal obligation. Our legal basis for sharing personal data relating to health, is Article 9(2)(g) – substantial public interest, for the purposes of NHS Digital exercising its statutory functions under the COVID-19 Direction.
The type of personal data we are sharing with NHS Digital
The data being shared with NHS Digital will include information about patients who are currently registered with a GP practice or who have a date of death on or after 1 November 2019 whose record contains coded information relevant to coronavirus planning and research. The data contains NHS Number, postcode, address, surname, forename, sex, ethnicity, date of birth and date of death for those patients. 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
How NHS Digital will use and share your data
NHS Digital will analyse the data they collect and securely and lawfully share data with other appropriate organisations, including health and care organisations, bodies engaged in disease surveillance and research organisations for coronavirus response purposes only. These purposes include protecting public health, planning and providing health, social care and public services, identifying coronavirus trends and risks to public health, monitoring and managing the outbreak and carrying out of vital coronavirus research and clinical trials. The British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the National Data Guardian are all supportive of this initiative.
NHS Digital has various legal powers to share data for purposes relating to the coronavirus response. It is also required to share data in certain circumstances set out in the COVID-19 Direction and to share confidential patient information to support the response under a legal notice issued to it by the Secretary of State under the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI Regulations).
Legal notices under the COPI Regulations have also been issued to other health and social care organisations requiring those organisations to process and share confidential patient information to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Any information used or shared during the outbreak under these legal notices or the COPI Regulations will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis for organisations to continue to use the information.
Data which is shared by NHS Digital will be subject to robust rules relating to privacy, security and confidentiality and only the minimum amount of data necessary to achieve the coronavirus purpose will be shared. Organisations using your data will also need to have a clear legal basis to do so and will enter into a data sharing agreement with NHS Digital. Information about the data that NHS Digital shares, including who with and for what purpose will be published in the NHS Digital data release register.
For more information about how NHS Digital will use your data please see the NHS Digital Transparency Notice for GP Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19).
National Data Opt-Out
The application of the National Data Opt-Out to information shared by NHS Digital will be considered on a case by case basis and may or may not apply depending on the specific purposes for which the data is to be used. This is because during this period of emergency, the National Data Opt-Out will not generally apply where data is used to support the coronavirus outbreak, due to the public interest and legal requirements to share information.
Your rights over your personal data
To read more about the health and care information NHS Digital collects, its legal basis for collecting this information and what choices and rights you have in relation to the processing by NHS Digital of your personal data, see:
- the NHS Digital GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19) Transparency Notice
- the NHS Digital Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Transparency Notice
- the NHS Digital General Transparency Notice
- how NHS Digital looks after your health and care information