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Patient Information Extraction (GPES)

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Patient Information Extraction (GPES)

Patient Information Extraction (GPES)

82 practices in the country have begun piloting a new system of data extraction

 

from records in the NHS run by the Health and Social  Care Information Centre known as (HSCIC) using the General Practice Extraction Service.

This involves patient-identifiable data being extracted from records linked with other data from hospitals and social care being cascaded through the NHS, or potentially being bought by researchers or private companies for use outside the NHS.

I appreciate you may think this all sounds scary however earlier this year Jeremy Hunt, health secretary stated that patients who objected to having data extracted from their GP records could be given a veto. As yet as a practice we don’t know how this would work. The data extraction programme is supposed to begin in October this year but our system supplier has not given us any definite date of when they expect to start, however as a practice we have blocked any information being sent until we know more about the programme.

What will the information extracted by GPES be used for?

GPES has the potential to improve patient care by collecting and coordinating vital information from across general practice clinical systems in England. By making this information available to the NHS and other approved organisations, GPES can support a diverse range of improvements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses.

Potential patient benefits could include:

Improving the screening of patients for serious conditions and therefore enabling treatments to be delivered quicker and more efficiently

  1.     better patient safety
  2.     better visibility of major public health issues (e.g. enabling the NHS to monitor flu outbreaks and deliver services where they are needed)
  3.     a greater insight into the uptake of vital medicines

For us in general practice we fall between a rock and a hard place as practices have a lawful obligation under the Health and Social Care Act to send data to the HSCIC but under the data protection act we have an obligation to protect patient data.  The practices is not being given an option and that is leaving a lot of us in general practice confused.

In the meantime if you don’t want to share your information contact the practice, we are keeping a list of patients who have declined consent and when we know how, we will veto your records.

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