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Posted by: marcia - Posted on:

*DoctorLink now available please see below for information*

Patient data extraction

NHS England is commissioning a modern data service from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) on behalf of the entire health and social care system. Known as care.data, this programme will build on the existing data services such as the Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) service, which was launched in 1989 and expand it to provide linked data, that will eventually cover all care settings, both in and outside of hospital.

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, NHS England has the power to direct the HSCIC to collect information from all providers of NHS care, including general practices. In some circumstances they can acquire Personal Confidential Data (PCD) from GP practices without seeking patient consent.

However for this particular initiative the patient can decline to give consent for their data to be extracted. If you have any objections or require further information please contact the surgery ASAP.


The specification of the data to be extracted by GP practices were considered by the Joint GP IT Committee of the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners, as well as an independent advisory group.

Details are available here: http://www.england.nhs.uk/caredata 

The General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) will be used to extract GP data each month. Initially the data will cover the period from April 2013 onwards. The identifiers to be extracted are: NHS number, date of birth, postcode, and gender which will allow patients’ GP data to be linked to their hospital data. No free text will be extracted, only coded information about referrals, NHS prescriptions and other clinical data.

The technical specification of the extract can be found at http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/tsd/data-info/.