GP practices in England are required to supply some parts of patients’ personal and confidential medical information, on a regular and continuous basis, to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
This information can be extracted from the practice in a form that will not include your name but will contain other identifying information, including your NHS number, date of birth, postcode, gender and ethnicity.
This programme is called care.data, and the information uploaded can be used for purposes other than your direct medical care, including health care planning and research.
Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, GP practices have no choice but to allow the HSCIC to extract this information.
Although GP practices cannot object to this information leaving the practice, individual patients and their families can instruct their practice to prohibit the transfer of their data, so you have the right to opt out.
This is a different programme from the Summary Care Record, and even if you have already opted out from having a ‘Summary Care Record’ you will still need to opt out separately from care.data uploads if this is your wish.
For more information about care.data please read the NHS leaflet ‘How information about you helps us to provide better care’ which is available from reception, or downloadable from: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/records/healthrecords/Pages/care-data.aspx
If you wish to opt out of the care.data programme, please inform our staff at reception.