ICO welcomes NHS Digital delay

You may have read about the impending changes by NHS Digital, where GP patient records will be copied into a new central system, whose abbreviation is confusingly GPDPR but has nothing to do with GDPR.

It has stirred much controversy and so the start of the project has been deferred until 1st September 2021. NHS Digital is saying that it’s just a new way of collecting data that has been used to support health and care planning and research for some time, whilst others including a number of GP groups, have expressed a number of concerns relating to data privacy, the short lead time, the lack of publicity, whether an opt-out is sufficient and the risk of personal data being used for commercial purposes.

In case your staff are not aware, you might like to make this link to the NHS Digital article available, which explains it all and links to how people can opt out. There are in fact 2 opt-outs possible, the first of which has been around for a long time but not widely publicised.

It’s hard to see how the project has met the transparency principle so far, so let’s hope the ICO gets more involved to represent us and ensure compliance with the UK GDPR. You can read the ICO’s statement here.