How is privacy protected?

The programme has obtained Section 60 /Section 251 Health and Social Care Act / NHS Act approval from the Confidentiality Advisory Group of the Health Research Authority, which is particularly interested in the data linkages with other databases.

Once that linkage is achieved, data which can be used to identify patients, such as patient NHS numbers, is blocked (using an SHA256 hash function algorithm), and postcodes will be truncated. The resulting pseudoanonymised data set is made available to the statisticians and research fellows at UCL and LSHTM for analysis.  

Each Practice’s data on percentages on the 12 performance indicators and 5 outcome variables by CKD-stage will be fed back to the Practice, and can be extracted locally and used for their own local analysis. However, because patients in more severe stages of CKD are potentially identifiable at Practice level this detail will not be made public; we will only show aggregate data on all CKD patients, with audit outcomes for each CCG being made public. 

Each Practice has the option to opt out of the programme. Where a Practice chooses to do this, they will be included in league tables but as there will be no data on which to evaluate them, they will be presented at the end of the lists.

If you are considering requesting that your data not be used for this audit it is recommended that you discuss this with your local GP.  If you then decide that you wish to 'opt-out' of the audit you will need to do one, or both, of the following:

  1. Ask your GP to mark your local record as opted out.  Then no further data will be shared with us, or any other national audit.
  2. Contact us to request that you opt out the audit.  We will then delete any of your data we hold; but we will need to keep a record of your NHS number to ensure we can delete any data on you we receive in the future.