NHS Digital Launches General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) Service

Priscilla Lynch 

May 14, 2021

NHS Digital has launched its new General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) service, a broader general-purpose collection service enabling faster access to pseudonymised patient data for planners and researchers. 

NHS Digital has collected data from GPs for over ten years through its General Practice Extraction Service (GPES), which is being replaced with the GPDPR service.

NHS Digital has issued a Data Provision Notice (DPN) to GPs to enable the collection process to begin from 1st July. It is a legal obligation to comply with the DPN as a result of a new direction from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care as part of the Health and Care Act 2012.

NHS Digital said the GPDPR service has been designed to the most rigorous privacy and security standards, and it consulted with patient and privacy groups, clinicians, and technology experts, as well as the British Medical Association (BMA), Royal College of GPs (RCGP), the National Data Guardian (NDG) and multiple other health care organisations.  

Data will only be shared with organisations that have a legal basis and meet strict criteria to use it for local, regional and national planning, policy development, commissioning, public health and research purposes. 

Any data which directly identifies an individual will be pseudonymised and then encrypted before it leaves a GP practice.

Type 1 opt-outs will continue to be respected under GPDPR and a form for registering these can be found via the GP Privacy Notice which GPs will receive along with the DPN. The National Data Opt-Out will not apply to the collection of this data by NHS Digital, as this is a collection which is required by law; however, it will be applied by NHS Digital on access or dissemination of data.

The BMA and RCGP are broadly supportive of the principles of the new collection in seeing fewer extracts of data and a reduced administrative burden for general practice.

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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