We are receiving queries with regards to patients asking to “Opt out” via NHS Digital (England). This is due to NHS England patients only having until 23rd June 2021 to apply to opt out of their GP records being shared with 3rd parties.
Please be aware, this does NOT apply to Welsh residents
Wales is not extracting GP information in the ways described in England by NHS Digital. DHCW (Digital Health and Care Wales) are in direct contact with Welsh Government to understand any emerging Policy, but for the moment nothing has changed and Information held about Welsh Residents and contained within GP systems is not extracted unless there is a local practice arrangement in place (for instance the practice is participating in a specific research arrangement when patient consent is usually taken) or if unidentifiable information is used for assessing usage of a certain service.
NHS Digital’s Notice on General Practice Data for Planning and Research
An increasing number of Practices are receiving communications from patients noting their ‘Dissent from secondary use of GP patient identifiable data’ either via a template letter, email or verbally. This is following a notice for NHS Digital in England for daily data collection under General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) service.
This data service does not presently apply to General Practice’s in Wales and is specifically for those Practices providing contracted services to English residents within England.
The increasing number of requests are likely to be due the fact that English residents have until 23rd June to notify their English GP practice that they wish to ‘opt-out’ of this data collection due to start on 1st July 2021.
If the practice receives any such communication from their patients, they should not take any action. We suggest a response explaining that processing of personal information for this purpose does not currently apply to Welsh GP held data in these circumstances. Thus, making any request of this nature invalid.