Fair Processing Notice

General Practice Transparency Notice for GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19)

This practice is supporting vital coronavirus (COVID-19) planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital.

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.

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

How NHS Digital will use and share your data

NHS Digital will analyse the data they collect and securely and lawfully share data with other appropriate organisations, including health and care organisations, bodies engaged in disease surveillance and research organisations for coronavirus response purposes only. These purposes include protecting public health, planning and providing health, social care and public services, identifying coronavirus trends and risks to public health, monitoring and managing the outbreak and carrying out of vital coronavirus research and clinical trials. The British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the National Data Guardian are all supportive of this initiative.

NHS Digital has various legal powers to share data for purposes relating to the coronavirus response. It is also required to share data in certain circumstances set out in the COVID-19 Direction and to share confidential patient information to support the response under a legal notice issued to it by the Secretary of State under the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI Regulations).

Legal notices under the COPI Regulations have also been issued to other health and social care organisations requiring those organisations to process and share confidential patient information to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Any information used or shared during the outbreak under these legal notices or the COPI Regulations will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis for organisations to continue to use the information.

Data which is shared by NHS Digital will be subject to robust rules relating to privacy, security and confidentiality and only the minimum amount of data necessary to achieve the coronavirus purpose will be shared. Organisations using your data will also need to have a clear legal basis to do so and will enter into a data sharing agreement with NHS Digital. Information about the data that NHS Digital shares, including who with and for what purpose will be published in the NHS Digital data release register.

For more information about how NHS Digital will use your data please see the NHS Digital Transparency Notice for GP Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19).

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:



As you may be aware, the law governing data protection changed on 25 May 2018. In a digitally led, modern world the previous legislation surrounding data protection had become outdated and the “General Data Protection Regulation”(GDPR) is being introduced to give you more clarity and better protection in respect of how and why your data is being used.


Your Data Protection Rights


A pivotal aspect of GDPR is providing transparency to our patients about how we will use their personal information.

The following notice outlines your rights in respect of the above legislation and how we will use your information for lawful purposes in order to deliver your care, as well as effective management of the wider local NHS system.

This notice reflects how we use information for:

  • The management of patient records;
  • Communication concerning your clinical, social and supported care;
  • Ensuring the quality of your care and the best clinical outcomes are achieved through clinical audit and retrospective review;
  • Participation in health and social care research; and
  • The management and clinical planning of services to ensure that appropriate care is in place for our patients today and moving forward.


Data Controller

As your registered GP practice, we are the a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible to you in respect of how we hold and use personal information about you. We are required under data protection legislation to notify you of the information contained in this privacy notice.


What information do we collect and use?


We will collect, store, and use personal data about you. Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).

All personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully, whether is it received directly from you or from a third party in relation to your care. We will collect the following types of information from you or about you from a third party (provider organisation) engaged in the delivery of your care:

  • Personal data”, which includes (but is not limited to) your name, date of birth, full postcode, address, next of kin and NHS number; and
  • Special category data”, such as medical history. This includes (but is not limited to) details of appointments and contact with you, medication, emergency appointments and admissions, clinical notes, treatments, results of investigations, supportive care arrangements, social care status, race, ethnic origin, genetics and sexual orientation.

Your healthcare records contain information about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously, including (but not limited to) attendances with GP surgeries, hospitals, community care providers, mental health care providers, walk-in centres and/or urgent care centres, and social services.  These records may be in a paper format, electronic, or a mixture of both.  We use a combination of technologies, policies and general working practices to ensure that we keep your personal information safe and secure.


Why do we collect and process this information?


The NHS Act 2006 and the Health and Social Care Act 2012 invests statutory functions on GP Practices to promote and provide the health service in England, improve quality of services, reduce inequalities, conduct research, review performance of services and deliver education and training.  To do this we will need to process your information in accordance with current data protection legislation to:

  • Perform tasks in the public’s interest, including providing our primary function as a public healthcare provider;
  • Protect your vital interests;
  • Pursue our legitimate interests as a provider of medical care, particularly where the individual is a child or a vulnerable adult;
  • Deliver preventative medicine, medical diagnosis, medical research; and
  • Manage the health and social care system and services.

For the Provision of Care

We hold your medical record so that we can provide you with safe care and treatment. We will also use your information so that we can check and review the quality of the care we provide. This helps us to improve our services to you.

Registering to receive care through the NHS


All patients who receive NHS care are registered on a national database. This database holds your name, address, date of birth and NHS Number but it does not hold information about the care you receive. The database is held by NHS Digital, a national organisation that has a legal obligation to collect and retain NHS data.


For the purpose of Medical Research


The Practice may share information from medical records to support medical research when the law allows us to do so, for example to learn more about why people get ill and what treatments might work best. We will also use your medical records to carry out research within the practice.

It is important that we can utilise your medical records in respect of research, because the use of information from GP medical records is very useful in developing new treatments and medicines. Medical researchers also use information from medical records to help answer important questions about illnesses and disease so that improvements can be made to the care and treatment patients receive.

You have the right to object to your identifiable information being used or shared for medical research purposes. Please note: we only share information when we either hold your explicit consent, where we have applied the appropriate anonymisation to the information, or when the law allows.

Please speak to the practice if you wish to object.


Clinical Audits to Check and Maintain Standards of Care


The practice contributes to national clinical audits so that healthcare can be checked and reviewed.

Information from medical records can help doctors and other healthcare workers measure and check the quality of care that is provided to you. The results of the checks or audits can show where clinical services are provided well and where they need to improve. The results of the checks or audits can subsequently be used to recommend and implement improvements to patient care.

Data is sent to NHS Digital, a national body with legal responsibilities to collect data. The data will include information about you, such as your NHS Number and date of birth and information about your health which is recorded in coded form –  for example the code for high blood pressure.


Legal Obligation to Share Data

The law requires the practice to share information from your medical records in certain circumstances. Information is shared so that the NHS or Public Health England can, for example:

  • plan and manage services;
  • check that the care being provided is safe;
  • prevent infectious diseases from spreading.

We will share information with NHS Digital, the Care Quality Commission and local health protection team (or Public Health England) when the law requires us to do so. Please see below for more information.

We must also share your information if legally required to do so, such as due to a court order.


How is the information collected?


Your information will be collected either electronically using secure NHS Mail or a secure electronic transferred over an NHS encrypted network connection.  In addition physical information will be sent to the practice.  This information will be retained within your electronic patient record or within your physical medical records.


Who will we share your information with?


In order to deliver and coordinate your health and social care, we may share information with the following organisations:

  • Other GP practices in order to deliver extended primary care services;
  • Secondary care provides such as hospitals;
  • 111 and the Out of Hours Service;
  • Local Social Services and Community Care services;
  • Voluntary Support Organisations commissioned to provide services by local Clinical Commissioning Groups;
  • Professional organisations in an audit and governance capacity;
  • Your GP will send details about your prescription to your chosen pharmacy;
  • Healthcare staff working in A&E and out of hours care will also have access to your information. For example, it is important that staff who are treating you in an emergency know if you have any allergic reactions. This will involve the use of your Summary Care Record. For more information see:  https://digital.nhs.uk/summary-care-records.

Your information will only be shared if it is appropriate for the provision of your care or required to satisfy our statutory function and legal obligations.

Your information will not be transferred outside of the European Union.

Whilst we might share your information with the above organisations, we may also receive information from them to ensure that your medical records are kept up to date and so that your GP can provide the appropriate care.

In addition, we received data from NHS Digital (as directed by the Department of Health).


Sharing Data in respect of Safeguarding


Sometimes we need to share information so that other people, including healthcare staff, children or others with safeguarding needs, are protected from risk of harm. While these circumstances are rare, we will not need your consent or agreement to do this.

If you want more information on our safeguarding policies, please speak to our reception team.

How do we maintain the confidentiality of your records?

We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information that has been collected lawfully.  Every member of staff who works for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to keep information about you confidential.  We maintain our duty of confidentiality by conducting annual training and awareness, ensuring access to personal data is limited to the appropriate staff and information is only shared with organisations and individuals that have a legitimate and legal basis for access.

Information is not held for longer than is necessary. We will hold your information in accordance with the Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016.


Consent and Objections

Do I need to give my consent?

Under GDPR, consent means offering people genuine choice and control over how their data is used. When consent is used properly, it helps you build trust and enhance your reputation.  However, consent is only one of six potential lawful bases for processing information.

We may not need to seek your explicit consent for every instance of processing and sharing your information, on the condition that the processing is carried out in accordance with this notice.  If we are required to share your information for any other purpose which is not mentioned within this notice then we will contact you to advise you accordingly.  In the event we need consent from you, such consent will be documented within your electronic patient record.

If consent is not the legal basis for processing the data it may be that we are still able to legally process the data without your consent, this would be communicated to you.


Risk Stratification

Risk Stratification, also known as ‘Health Risk Screening’, is a process that helps your GP determine whether you are at risk of any unplanned admission or sudden deterioration in health.

By using information such as age, gender, diagnosis, and consideration of existing long term conditions, medication history, patterns of attendance at hospital, admissions and periods of access to community care, your GP will be able to judge if you are likely to need more support and care from time to time, or if the right services are in place to support the local population’s needs.

Your GP will routinely conduct the risk stratification process outside of your GP appointment.  This process is conducted electronically and without human intervention.  The resulting report is then reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of staff within the practice.  This may result in contact being made with you if alterations to the provision of your care are identified.

You have the right to object to your information being used in this way.  However, you should be aware that your objection may have a negative impact on the timely and proactive provision of your direct care.  Please contact the Practice Manager to discuss how disclosure of your personal data can be limited.

Sharing of Electronic Patient Records within the NHS

Electronic patient records are kept in most places where you receive healthcare.  Our local electronic system (such as SystmOne, EMIS and Eclipse) enables your record to be shared with organisations involved in your direct care, including (but not limited to) other GP practices, community services such as district nurses, rehabilitation services and out of hospital services, child health services that undertake routine treatment or health screening, urgent care organisations, minor injury units or out of hours services, community hospitals, palliative care hospitals, care homes, Mental Health Trusts, hospitals, social care organisations and pharmacies.

In addition, NHS England have implemented the Summary Care Record which contains information including medication you are taking and any bad reactions to medication that you have had in the past.

In most cases, particularly for patients with complex conditions and care arrangements, the shared electronic health record plays a vital role in delivering the best care and a coordinated response, taking into account all aspects of a person’s physical and mental health.  Many patients are understandably not able to provide a full account of their care, or may not be in a position to do so.  The shared record means patients do not have to repeat their medical history at every care setting.

Your record will be automatically setup to be shared with the organisations listed above, however you have the right to ask your GP to disable this function or restrict access to specific elements of your record.  This will mean that the information recorded by your GP will not be visible at any other care setting.

You can also reinstate your consent at any time by giving your permission to override your previous dissent.

Invoice Validation

If you have received treatment within the NHS, the local Commissioning Group may require access to your personal information to determine which Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is responsible for payment for the treatment or procedures you have received.  Information such as your name, address, date of treatment and associated treatment code may be passed onto the CCG to enable them to process the bill.  These details are held in a secure environment and kept confidential.

Your Right of Access to Your Records

The Data Protection Act and General Data Protection Regulations allows you to find out what information is held about you including information held within your medical records, either in electronic or physical format.  This is known as the “right of subject access”.  If you would like to have access to all or part of your records, you can make a request in writing to the organisation that you believe holds your information.  This can be your GP, or a provider that is or has delivered your treatment and care.  You should however be aware that some details within your health records may be exempt from disclosure, however this will in the interests of your wellbeing or to protect the identity of a third party.  If you would like access to your GP record please submit your request in writing to:

Aldersbrook Medical Centre

65 Aldersbrook Road


E12 5DL


In the event that your feel your GP Practice has not complied with the current data protection legislation, either in responding to your request or in our general processing of your personal information, you should raise your concerns in the first instance in writing for the attention of the Practice Manger at:

Aldersbrook Medical Centre

65 Aldersbrook Road


E12 5DL

If you remain dissatisfied with our response you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wimslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

In the alternative, you can contact the ICO enquiry line: 01625 545700 or submit a online at www.ico.gov.uk

We are required by law to provide you with the following information about how we handle your information.

Data Controller 


 Aldersbrook Medical Centre on behalf of NHS England
Data Protection Officer

Nick Murphy-O’Kane

NMG Consultancy Ltd

130 Balgores Lane Romford Essex RM2 5JX


Purpose of the processing

To provide health or social care to patients, including referrals to other healthcare providers, providing the appropriate advice and conducting investigations where appropriate.

To conduct clinical audit and provide governance; that is, to check and review the quality of care being provided.

Lawful basis for processing

These purposes are supported under the following sections of the GDPR:


Article 6(1)(e) ‘…necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority…’; and


Article 9(2)(h) ‘necessary for the purposes of preventative or occupational medicine for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services…” 

Healthcare staff will also respect and comply with their obligations under the common law duty of confidence.

Recipient or categories of recipients of the processed data

As advised above, data will be shared with:

·         healthcare professionals and staff in this surgery;

·         hospitals;

·         out of hours services, walk-in centres and urgent care centres;

·         diagnostic and treatment centres, or other organisations involved in the provision of direct care to individual patients;

·         other professional organisations involved in the provision of auditing and governance services.

Rights to object

In certain circumstances, you will have the right to object to information being shared between those who are providing you with direct care. This may affect the care you receive, so if you have any queries on this point please contact the data protection officer.

You are not able to object to your name, address and other demographic information being sent to NHS Digital, as this is necessary if you wish to be registered to receive NHS care.

You are not able to object when information is legitimately shared for safeguarding reasons. In appropriate circumstances it is a legal and professional requirement to share information for safeguarding reasons. This is to protect people from harm.

The information will be shared with the local safeguarding service based at our local authorities.

Right to access and correct

You have the right to access your medical records and have any errors or mistakes contained within your records corrected.

Should you wish to access your information, please speak to a member of staff regarding making a “subject access request”.

In the event entries in your medical records are correct or form a medical opinion, we are not aware of any circumstances in which you will have the right to delete or amend such information.

If you believe there is no lawful purpose for us to hold certain information, you are welcome to seek legal advice on the above points.

Retention period

Medical records are retained in line with the law and national guidance.

Information on how long records are kept can be found at: https://digital.nhs.uk/article/1202/Records-Management-Code-of-Practice-for-Health-and-Social-Care-2016

If you have a more specific query, please speak to the practice directly.

Right to complain

You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

If you wish to complain to the ICO, you can contact them on the following link: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

Or, in the alternative, call the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113

Data we get from other organisations We receive information about your health from other organisations who are involved in providing you with health and social care. For example, if you go to hospital for treatment, the hospital will send us a letter to let us know what has happened so that we can ensure you are provided with the care you need. This also means your GP medical record is kept up-to date when you receive care from other parts of the health service.




Additional Information about Third Parties We Share Data With


NHS Digital


NHS Digital is a national body which has legal responsibilities to collect information about health and social care services. It collects information from across the NHS in England and provides reports on how the NHS is performing. These reports help to plan and improve services to patients.

This practice must comply with the law and will send data to NHS Digital, for example, when it is told to do so by the Secretary of State for Health or NHS England under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

More information about NHS Digital and how it uses information can be found at https://digital.nhs.uk/home

NHS Digital sometimes shares names and addresses of patients suspected of committing immigration offences with the Home Office. More information on this can be found here:



Care Quality Commission (CQC)


The CQC regulates health and social care services to ensure that safe care is provided. The law says that we must report certain serious events to the CQC, for example, when patient safety has been put at risk. For more information about the CQC see: http://www.cqc.org.uk/


Public Health


The law requires us to share data for public health reasons, for example to prevent the spread of infectious diseases or other diseases which threaten the health of the population. We will report the relevant information to local health protection team or Public Health England.

For more information about Public Health England and disease reporting see:



National Screening Programmes


The NHS provides national screening programmes so that certain diseases can be detected at an early stage. These screening programmes include bowel cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, aortic aneurysms and a diabetic eye screening service.

The law allows us to share your contact information with Public Health England so that you can be invited to the relevant screening programme.

More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/topic/population-screening-programmes