Collecting GP data - advice for the public

NHS Digital's collection of GP data will support vital health and care planning and research. Here we share how and why your data is being used, and what to do if you don't want your data shared.
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Why NHS Digital need your data

Patient data is used every day to improve healthcare services through planning and research in England, helping to find better treatments and improve patient care.

It helps to decide what new health and care services are required in a local area, informs clinical guidance and policy, and supports researching and developing cures for serious illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

For example, GP data collected as part of the COVID response is being used by the University of Oxford RECOVERY trial, which is looking to find ways to improve the treatment for people with COVID-19.

Why a new system is needed

Patient data is already being collected to improve health and care services. NHS Digital has collected patient data from general practices using a service called the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES). This system is over 10 years old and now needs to be replaced.

NHS Digital has engaged with doctors, patients, data and governance experts to design a new and improved system to collect data from general practice that:

  • reduces work for GPs so they have more time to focus on patient care
  • explains clearly how data is used to help patients feel confident and informed
  • means data is collected, stored and accessed in a secure and consistent way

Find out more

You can find out more about  how NHS Digital keep your data secure, why it is important to collect data, what will and will not be collected, and how you can opt out of your data being shared.

Read more on collecting GP data

Read more on General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR)

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