(Editor’s Note: Read till the end for Roy Lilley’s take on data and the NHS Bureaucracy. “Bureaucracy… creates delays, duplication, interfaces and costs lives.)
Is it 25 August–or earlier? Well, it depends… NHS Digital has informed GPs that, contrary to a prior announcement, the deadline for submitting those who wish to opt out of the General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) database must be set by the GP practice, and is not 25 August. The deadline for the mass extraction remains 1 September. This puts practices into a dilemma–informing patients of their right to opt-out. setting a date for staff to process the forms, and processing the hard copy forms in time for the 1 September extraction. (And right during summer holiday time with the bank holiday on 30 August)
For patients wishing to opt-out, they must submit a type-1 opt-out form (a Word document) and send it to their GP practice via mail or email by the deadline which then submits with the data collection. If a patient wishes to opt-out after, it’s permitted but any data before the opt-out date will be collected. The National Data Opt-Out does not apply to the GPDPR.
According to the 22 June update in Pulse,
The BMA GP Committee’s latest newsletter quoted IT lead Dr Farah Jameel as saying: ‘The public needs a clear deadline by which they can opt out, alongside clear instructions on how to do this if they so wish.
‘We have been urging the government and NHS Digital to consider making the process of opting out simpler, and in effect remove any additional burden [that] large volumes of Type 1 opt-outs could place on already under-pressure general practice.
‘We urge NHS Digital to clarify this with both the public and practices.’
Another GP from Bristol is quoted as pointing out that most opt-outs will be received last minute, jamming the practices.
In addition, each GP practice has more work to do before the extraction–a data protection impact assessment (DPIA).
The problems of patient awareness, particularly during the summer, obtaining the form, and submitting it in time remain. So, what’s the rush? This Editor closes once again with the thought that the fourth quarter would be far better timing both for the surgeries and NHS Digital.
Addendum: Roy Lilley’s eLetter on ‘Data Saves Lives’ (draft publication here) is a Must Read. It is a most interesting take on how the NHS is botching the opportunities around health data by drowning it in bureaucracy. The latest example is a draft document titled ‘Data Saves Lives’. A course in obfuscation where even a casual look will reveal its true awfulness. Mr. Lilley has counted 96 commitments, 10 new organizations, and six major pieces of legislation. “It is bad, bad, bad and a perfect example of why the NHS’ relationship with the IT sector is so bad.” The GPDPR gets one–one–mention in this document. Sounds like some imports from the US Congress wrote it! In any case, if you’re in UK healthcare, you should be subscribing to this free eLetter. ‘Data Saves Lives’ NHS news release may go down easier