We have recently been informed that the Health and Social Care Act 2012 gave NHS England the power to direct general practices to allow the new Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) to collect information about patients from our clinical records system.
It is a legal requirement for the practice to comply with this process and the first data extraction is due to take place in late October 2013. 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 data that may be extracted includes your NHS number, date of birth, postcode and gender. No free text will be extracted, only coded information about referrals, NHS prescriptions and other clinical data. (The technical specification can be found on the NHS England website.
There is more information about this for patients at NHS Choices.
A patient information leaflet is available to download.
Please note that the default assumption made by HSCIC is that you will agree to have your data extracted from the GP records. If this is NOT the case and you do not want data extracted from your records, you must inform the practice in writing.
A joint statement on Care Data has been released by the responsible organisations which you can read here.