General Practice Data for Planning and Research Programme




On 8 June, a pause to the data collection was announced until 1 September 2021, to allow time for NHS Digital to speak with GPs, patients, health charities and others, and strengthen the plan. While NHS Digital will continue to develop the infrastructure and engagement for the programme, they are not setting a specific start date for the collection of data. This means that the 1 September date no longer stands.

NHS DIGITAL want to make the position around opt-out much simpler. While 1 September has been seen by some as a cut-off date for opt-out, after which data extraction would begin, this will not be the case and data extraction will not commence until they have met the tests.

NHS DIGITAL are introducing three changes to the opt-out system which mean that patients will be able to change their opt-out status at any time:

  • Patients do not need to register a Type 1 opt-out by 1 September to ensure their GP data will not be uploaded
  • NHS Digital will create the technical means to allow GP data that has previously been uploaded to the system via the GPDPR collection to be deleted when someone registers a Type 1 opt-out
  • The plan to retire Type 1 opt-outs will be deferred for at least 12 months while we get the new arrangements up and running, and will not be implemented without consultation with the RCGP, the BMA and the National Data Guardian

Together, these changes mean that patients can have confidence that they will have the ability to opt-in or opt-out of the system, and that the dataset will always reflect their current preference. NHS DIGITAL will ensure it is easy for them to exercise the choice to optout.

Published: Jul 28, 2021