Care.data is an NHS England national programme. It is the collection of confidential but non-identifiable data from practices for research and development purposes. It is being undertaken by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). The HSCIC is England’s central authoritative source of health and social care information. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 empowers the HSCIC to require providers of NHS care to send it confidential data in limited circumstances.
Care.data was launched in the Midlands on Thursday 12th September 2013. The launch involved practices being sent a practice pack on care.data.
The main points to consider are as follows:
· Care.data is an opted in scheme for patients. They will have to request to opt out if they do not want to be part of it
· Practices are automatically part of the programme. There is not an option for them to opt out.
· The data shared will be confidential and will be linked to postcode and NHS number but not linked to patient names
· Practices will need to enter a read code against the patient record if the patient does not wish for their data to be extracted
· Practices are asked to display the posters and leaflets and upload electronic copies to their website
· The data will start to be extracted from the practice a minimum of 8 weeks after you receive your package. Practices are not required to do anything until they are contacted
Further information is available from www.nhs.uk/caredata but there is no contact number for patients. The materials advise patients to speak to their surgery