The Sharing of GP data with third parties.

The information below is not something we, as General Practice or Conisbrough Group Practice, have a choice about; and we’d also like to highlight that we also do not receive any money for this either.

From 1st July, tech body NHS Digital will be able to extract patient data, including mental and sexual health data and other information, from all GP practices across England.

Researchers and other third parties, including companies, will be able to request the data from NHS Digital for a fee.

Patient names and addresses, as well as details about certain medical procedures like IVF, will not be shared.

Other identifying information, will be ‘pseudonymised’. This means third parties shouldn’t be able to tell who any patient data refers to.

But the NHS will retain ‘codes’ to unlock the data if there is a ‘valid legal reason’ to do so.

NHS Digital says the data will be used to improve medical research, health policy and local health and care services. It cannot be shared with marketing or insurance companies.

Patients can opt-out of the data-extraction by sending a completed ‘Type 1’ opt-out form to their GP practice before 23rd June.

You can download the form on the NHS Digital website and send it by post or email. You can also call 0300 3035678 to ask for a copy to be sent to your home.

If you miss the June deadline, you can ask your GP to stop sharing your data with NHS Digital. But any data they’ve already shared will be kept on file.

Patients can also opt out of sharing information held by NHS Digital at any time online through the National Data Opt-Out. This won’t stop the body from collecting information from your GP, but it will prevent it leaving the organisation.

If you aren’t sure whether you’ve opted out or not, you can check on the NHS website.

Further information about this subject can also be found in this letter from the RCGP and BMA, which are the governing bodies of General Practice Doctors.