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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Health and Social Care Information Centre?

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is England’s central, authoritative source of health and social care information. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA) empowered the HSCIC to require providers of NHS care to send it confidential data in limited circumstances i.e. when directed to do so by the Secretary of State for Health, NHS England or when receiving a mandatory request from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), NICE or Monitor. The HSCIC will process the confidential data in a secure environment and can only release confidential data where there is a legal basis.

2. What is

NHS England has described the service as:

‘…a new, modern data system for the NHS in England. Known as, its purpose will be to provide timely, accurate information to citizens, clinicians and commissioners about the treatments and care provided by the NHS. The aims of the programme are six-fold: first, to support patients’ choice; second, to advance customer services; third, to promote greater transparency; fourth, to improve outcomes; fifth, to increase accountability; and finally to drive economic growth by making England the default location for world-class health services research. The underlying data within will all be collected routinely as part of the care process. For the first time, these data will be linked for patients nationwide along their entire continuum of health and social care.’ The intention is to expand Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) to form Care Episode Statistics (CES) by incorporating and linking data across all care settings. One of the first components is the inclusion within CES of primary care data.

3. What is the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES)?

GPES is the national primary care data extraction service managed by the HSCIC. GPES is capable of obtaining information from all GP practices in England for specific and approved purposes. GPES is the tool used by the HSCIC to extract data and therefore will be the default system by which GPs disclose data to the HSCIC for GPs can choose to use another system provided that this is acceptable to the HSCIC.

4. What is Personal Confidential Data (PCD)?

This term describes personal information about identifiable individuals who are owed a duty of confidentiality i.e. the information was given ‘in confidence’ and should be kept private or secret unless there is a legal basis or overriding public interest for disclosure. It includes information about deceased as well as living individuals.

5. What data will GP practices be required to provide for

The data to be extracted from GP systems for includes information such as family history, vaccinations, diagnoses, referrals, biological values (such as blood pressure, BMI and cholesterol with QOF exceptions codes) and all NHS prescriptions. Identifiers (DOB, postcode, NHS number and gender) are required to link the GP data with PCD from other care settings in order to analyse patient care across pathways. Free text will not be included for

6. When will the data extraction begin?

The extraction is scheduled from the autumn 2013

For more information please visit

Opt out form

Click here to download the form to opt out. Please return the completed form to the surgery.

Dear Registered patients

Please note the data extraction from the surgery is not authorised by the Surgery. It was decided by HSCIC and surgery cannot opt-out. But as a patient you could opt-out. If you would like to opt-out, please speak with Practice Manager or leave a note at the reception to the attention of Practice Manager.



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