Under the powers of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA) NHS England has the power to direct the Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) to collect information from all providers of NHS care, including general practices. Confidential information from your medical record plus identifiers such as your NHS number, date of birth, post code and gender, but not your name, will be collected automatically on a monthly basis from our computer system.
The reason for collecting this information is so the NHS can improve the services it offers and offer the best possible care for everyone. Sharing information can help improve understanding, locally and nationally, of the most important health needs and the quality of the treatment and care provided by local health services. It may also help researchers by supporting studies that identify patterns in diseases, responses to different treatments and potential solutions.
Information can also help to:
- Find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses;
- Guide local decisions about changes that are needed to respond to the needs of local patients;
- Support public health by anticipating risks of particular diseases and conditions, and help the NHS to take action to prevent problems;
- Improve the public’s understanding of the outcomes of care, giving them confidence in health and care services; and
- Guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources fairly so they can best support the treatment and management of illness for the benefit of patients.
The HSCIC will collect the data and store it securely in line with the law, national guidelines and best practice. Any reports it produces will never identify particular people.
It may also share the data it collects with third party organisations such as research bodies etc. Although it may charge an administration fee for this it will not actually sell data.
Do you have a choice?
Yes. If you do not want information about you to be collected by the HSCIC then you should inform Bentham Medical Practice who will put a marker on your record that will prevent any data collection from the practice.
If you are happy for the HSCIC to collect data but not to pass it on to third party organisations then, again, you can ask the practice to amend your record accordingly.
The HSCIC also collects patient identifiable data from other NHS organisations such as local hospitals. You cannot prevent this collection.
You should be aware that in certain situations, such as where there is a statutory duty to share information, a court order or an overriding public interest in disclosure, Personal Confidential Data may be collected with or without your consent.
If you don’t do anything then your data will be collected automatically!
If you would like to see more information on this then go to: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/records/healthrecords/Pages/care-data.aspx
You can find out more on the NHS England Care Data website