UPDATE: The implementation date of the GP Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) programme has been dropped and instead data collection will now only begin once certain criteria have been met.  Originally planned to go live from 1 July 2021, concerns were raised about the programme and eventually led to the implementation date being moved to September.  However it looks like this date has now been scrapped as the minister for primary care and health promotion, Jo Churchill, sent a letter to all GP’s on 19 July which set out a new process for commencing data collection.

A new NHS Digital scheme to scrape the last 10 years' worth of data from every patient's GP record is being planned.  It has noble aims to improve planning and research and has the potential to do huge amounts of good but some privacy campaigners have concerns over its potential to commercialise millions of medical records.  All data is pseudonymised so you cannot be identified from it, although sceptics worry about how foolproof this protection may be in the future.

A similar scheme was planned in 2012 and eventually dropped in 2016.  This new scheme seeks to collect even more data than the first, although NHS Digital say it has greater safeguards in place to protect patient confidentiality.

If you are happy for your data to be used in this way to help plan and improve NHS care, then you need do nothing.  But if you do not want your record added to the NHS Digital database, then you need to object before the scheme is implemented.

To find out more please visit our GPDPR page.

Published: Jun 1, 2021