NHS Digital Data Extraction

Using your Health Data for Planning and Research

Information about your health and care helps the NHS to improve your individual care, speed up diagnosis, plan your local services and research new treatments. It can also help research organisations to explore new treatments or make discoveries.

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.

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 collected patient data from general practices using a service called the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES), for over 10 years and now needs to be replaced. NHS Digital has developed a new way to collect this data, called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection and the daily collection of GP data will continue to support vital health and care planning and 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.

Further information about how NHS Digital use the information they extract can be found at digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research.

However, it is your data and you can decide that you do not want your information to be used in this way.

There are two main options available to you should you wish to opt-out of sharing data with NHS Digital or restricting their use of it;

Option 1

You can stop your data being extracted from your GP clinical system and used for planning and research purposes.

You can do this by completing a Type 1 Opt-out Form and sending it to us. A code will then be added to your records. You can opt out at any time but opting out before the end of August 2021 will mean your data is not extracted by the new process. Opting out after that date will mean that no further extractions will occur.

Option 2

You can stop your health data from any provider (not just your GP) being used by NHS Digital for Planning and Research purposes; Type 2 Opt-out.

You can do this at any time by:

Should you have any further queries or concerns our Data Protection Officer would be happy to help. She can be contacted at hannah.calway@nhs.net.