From the 1st of July, the NHS plans to collect and share patients' data. Individuals are given until the 23rd of June to opt out by filling out a form and returning it to their GP practice. Opting out after this deadline can only be done in relation to future data.

The plan is to gather the medical histories of every individual who has registered with a GP clinic. The medical histories include detailed medical records regarding the individual's physical and mental health. Data which can directly identify patients will be replaced with unique codes, however NHS Digital reserves the right to convert the codes back to directly identifiable data in certain circumstances.

NHS Digital stated that the collected data will be used to "develop health and social care policy, support the planning and commissioning of health and care services, the development of health and care policy, public health monitoring and interventions (including COVID-19) and enable many different areas of research." However, no details are given regarding who would be able to access the collected information.

The full announcement can be found here.

Please contact Jose Saras if you have any questions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.