This practice is supporting vital coronavirus (COVID-19) planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital. This transparency notice supplements our main practice privacy notice.
The health and social care system is facing significant pressures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health, social care and other public services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the coronavirus outbreak. In the current emergency it has become even more important to share health and care information across relevant organisations. This practice is supporting vital coronavirus planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital, the national safe haven for health and social care data in England.
Our legal basis for sharing data with NHS Digital
NHS Digital has been legally directed to collect and analyse patient data from all GP practices in England to support the coronavirus response for the duration of the outbreak. NHS Digital will become the controller under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) of the personal data collected and analysed jointly with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, who has directed NHS Digital to collect and analyse this data under the COVID-19 Public Health Directions 2020 (COVID-19 Direction).
All GP practices in England are legally required to share data with NHS Digital for this purpose under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (2012 Act). More information about this requirement is contained in the data provision notice issued by NHS Digital to GP practices.
Under GDPR our legal basis for sharing this personal data with NHS Digital is Article 6(1)(c) - legal obligation. Our legal basis for sharing personal data relating to health, is Article 9(2)(g) – substantial public interest, for the purposes of NHS Digital exercising its statutory functions under the COVID-19 Direction.
The type of personal data we are sharing with NHS Digital
The data being shared with NHS Digital will include information about patients who are currently registered with a GP practice or who have a date of death on or after 1 November 2019 whose record contains coded information relevant to coronavirus planning and research. The data contains NHS Number, postcode, address, surname, forename, sex, ethnicity, date of birth and date of death for those patients. It will also include coded health data which is held in your GP record such as details of:
- diagnoses and findings
- medications and other prescribed items
- investigations, tests and results
- treatments and outcomes
- vaccinations and immunisations
National Data Opt-Out
The application of the National Data Opt-Out to information shared by NHS Digital will be considered on a case by case basis and may or may not apply depending on the specific purposes for which the data is to be used. This is because during this period of emergency, the National Data Opt-Out will not generally apply where data is used to support the coronavirus outbreak, due to the public interest and legal requirements to share information.
Your rights over your personal data
To read more about the health and care information NHS Digital collects, its legal basis for collecting this information and what choices and rights you have in relation to the processing by NHS Digital of your personal data, see:
The Improved General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) Data Collection
NHS Digital wants to collect
- data about diagnoses, symptoms, observations, test results, medications, allergies, immunisations, referrals, recalls and appointments, including information about physical, mental and sexual health
- data on sex, ethnicity and sexual orientation
- data about staff who have treated patients
In a pseudonymised way (which is still personal data, as the data can be linked back).
Full details of the collection are here. https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research
The Department of Health and Social Care have advised that until they conduct a consultation with the National Data Guardian, Type 1 opt-out will continue to be respected. Type 1 opt-out can only be set at a GP practice.
A Type 1 opt-out prevents information that identifies individuals being shared outside of your GP Practice, for secondary uses. Type 1 Opt-outs were introduced in 2013 for data sharing from GP Practices, but may be discontinued in the future as a new opt-out has since been introduced to cover the broader health and care system, called the National Data Opt-out. Our Practice declared ourselves compliant on National Data Opt-out as on 30 Sept 2020 after our Practice Manager completed the actions for compliance with this opt-out.
NHS Digital will not collect any patient data for patients who have already registered a Type 1 Opt-out in line with current policy. A patient can register a Type 1 Opt-out at any time. They can also change their mind at any time and withdraw a Type 1 Opt-out.
If a patient wishes to register a Type 1 Opt-out with our GP practice before data sharing starts with NHS Digital, this should be done by returning the attached form to our GP practice by 23 June 2021 to allow time for processing it. If they have previously registered a Type 1 Opt-out and would like to withdraw this, they can also use the form to do this. You can send the form by post or email to the GP Practice or call 0300 3035678 for a form to be sent out to you.
More details are here: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research/transparency-notice
The Practice will include the Type 1 opt-out into your record.
It is the responsibility of the GP Practice to ensure Type 1 Opt-outs are applied to any data being shared, except for General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) collections where the Type 1 rule is applied automatically as part of the extraction process.
Advice for blind and partially sighted people during coronavirus (COVID-19)
We’re sorry if this letter is difficult for you to read. We want you to know that there are organisations which can help you during this very difficult time and wanted to get in touch as soon as possible.
This letter is in large print - if you would prefer a different format, please let us know.
We appreciate that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may be causing you many additional challenges so we’ve brought together some key contact numbers and advice on how to get support in your local community below. You’ll also find answers to the questions we’re being asked the most, but please don’t hesitate to call if you need help.
RNIB’s Helpline (0303 123 9999) has extended its opening hours. It is now open on weekdays (from 8am-8pm) and on Saturdays (from 9am-5pm). In addition to the usual help and advice on living with sight loss, our advisers can connect you to local support, and assist you in signing up to telephone and online groups that may offer a source of comfort in these times. Through the same number, you can also access pre-recorded information on the coronavirus and the Government’s response.
Also, Guide Dogs’ COVID-19 information line (0800 781 1444) is open on weekdays (from 9am-5pm). It supplies answers and information, for adults and families of children with sight loss, about living actively, independently and keeping well during the coronavirus outbreak. Whether you’re asking for yourself, a member of your family, or your child, both organisations offer online support and telephone services, and can help you access services from other providers.
Finding local support in London
Information on local organisations is available from both the RNIB Helpline and the Guide Dogs information line.
London has several local organisations who offer support, for example:
London Vision is a new sight loss charity for the capital. Current news, lockdown blogs and our newsletter are available online at www.londonvision.org We are keen to hear from people at the current time so please get in touch on 020 3761 3651 or email email@example.com
Blind Aid provide Community Sight Support services across the Boroughs of Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster. During this time the service is telephone based and can offer weekly telephone calls for emotional support and practical advice. Call 020 7403 6184 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Middlesex Association cover the Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Enfield, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Haringey and Richmond providing a befriending service for those who are isolated or vulnerable. Call 020 8423 5141 if you need someone to speak to.
Croydon Vision provide information and advice for members by phone; support for essential shopping; befriending; technology support; a fortnightly newsletter as well as online events via Facebook. Call 020 8688 2486 or email at email@example.com
Sutton Vision are providing an information and advice service; an increased telephone befriending service and are phoning Low Vision Clinic patients. Call 020 8409 7166 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Merton Vision offer information and support; volunteers can help with essential shopping and collecting prescriptions. Call 020 8540 5446 or email at email@example.com
London Taxicard scheme Taxicard offers subsidised travel in licensed taxis and private hire vehicles (mini cabs) to London residents with serious mobility impairments or who are severely sight impaired. In light of Covid-19, the following extension has been made to the Taxicard scheme. Taxi drivers can pick up and deliver essential supplies for the scheme member or allow friends and family to travel on the card holders’ behalf for the same purpose. Travel to medical appointments and collecting medication will also be allowed on the scheme. The taxi booking number is 020 7763 5001.To apply for a Taxicard call 020 7943 9791.https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/taxicard
During this time, you may be concerned about attending eye clinic appointments. Hospitals have rearranged their clinics to reduce the risk and minimise contact with other patients and staff. You can always call the hospital to seek advice. If you have a sudden change in your vision or new symptoms, contact your optician or eye doctor immediately. It is important you seek help, please don’t ignore symptoms. Moorfields Eye Hospital are offering virtual appointments for patients using Attend Anywhere technology via smartphone, laptop or PC.
Shopping for food and essentials
Supermarkets are changing their delivery services to prioritise the needs of clinically vulnerable people, but we know many people are still struggling. The situation is changing daily and we are taking action to raise your concerns directly with the supermarkets. NHS volunteers across the UK are collecting essential supplies for people unable to leave the house. If you are worried we can help.
Getting out and about
Although social distancing can be difficult, it’s really important for your mental and physical health that you still go outside and get exercise. So, if you don’t live with someone who is able to guide you, think about using your cane to alert people to your sight loss when you go out. Alternatively, you can let others know of your proximity verbally and that you are unaware of exactly where they are.
During this time, it’s especially important you stay connected with the outside world; whether it’s having Skype calls with family and friends, joining a Talk and Support group through the RNIB Helpline or signing up to a Keeping in Touch call with Guide Dogs. There are many sight loss forums available and most are open to your family and friends too. Having regular contact with people will help you to stay feeling positive.
If you also want to stay connected with the latest developments and information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and sight loss, listen to RNIB Connect Radio, the UK’s radio station for blind and partially sighted people. It’s available on Freeview 730 and online www.rnibconnectradio.org.uk
RNIB’s Helpline (0303 123 9999) is open from 8am-8pm on weekdays and on Saturdays from 9am-5pm.
Guide Dogs’ COVID-19 information line (0800 781 1444) is open on weekdays (from 9am-5pm).
We know this is a difficult time and many people are feeling worried and isolated. These are just a few of the ways we can help you during this time - there is lots more advice for blind and partially sighted people available. So, please get in touch if we can help.
Last edited: 22 May 2020 11:40 am