UK GPs and offices can now take an August holiday. The entire process of GPs extracting their data for the NHS GP Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) database and patients opting out has been halted–or “deferred” per the letter from Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Jo Churchill. Formally, the Data Provision Notice was withdrawn on 19 June–and quietly. That means no more deadline of 1 September–or, in fact, any deadline, right now.
According to the letter to GPs:
Instead, we commit to start uploading data only when we have the following in place:
- the ability to delete data if patients choose to opt-out of sharing their GP data with NHS Digital, even if this is after their data has been uploaded [This is a significant feature that is expanded on later in the letter–Ed.]
- the backlog of opt-outs has been fully cleared
- a Trusted Research Environment has been developed and implemented in NHS Digital [Security based on OpenSAFELY and the Office for National Statistics’ Secure Research Service best practices–Ed.]
- patients have been made more aware of the scheme through a campaign of engagement and communication
The revised scheme will be created in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the British Medical Association (BMA). One wonders why these logical steps weren’t taken before deadlines were set, moved, and about five medical associations plus at least one MP excoriated the NHS publicly. Undoubtedly more tap dancing to come. Our most recent and previous coverage here. Also Pulse and HealthcareITNews EMEA.