Complete anonymisation of information sent to SUS

The request was successful.

Dear FPH,

Thank you very much for all your previous FOI responses.

I would like to make another request under the FOI Act.

For the purposes of the Act, please take the date of your receipt of this request as 3rd December 2013.

Please note that I did request this information informally, but it was clear that you were not prepared to respond to my enquiry in that way.

I would be very grateful for some information. Some patients have raised this issue in light of the forthcoming care.data initiative which I am sure you are familiar with. Essentially, GP records are to be extracted by the HSCIC from GP systems and uploaded, then combined with HES data extracted from the SUS data warehouse. This combined database will be known as Care Episodes Statistics (CES) and from this information will be disseminated to all and sundry, within and out with the NHS.

The HSCIC derives SUS data from the commissioning data sets, which every secondary care provider in England sends to the SUS system. These files contain details of all the care they have provided, including activity covered by Payment by Results. As you know, HES data is subsequently extracted from SUS data.

Whilst there is now a mechanism to allow patients (on an individual basis) to opt-out of care.data, that is to prohibit the extraction of data by the HSCIC from their GP records, there appears to be no such simple mechanism to prohibit the HSCIC from extracting data from SUS (such as HES data). The only way to prevent the HSCIC from receiving identifiable data from HES is to prevent secondary care organisations from sending it to SUS in the first place.

Each NHS organisation is responsible for making information available to its service users (i.e. patients) about the personal data it processes, and how and why data might be shared with third parties (including the HSCIC) – and Frimley obviously does this ( http://www.frimleypark.nhs.uk/patients-a... ).

According to the Department of Health, service users are entitled to opt-out of their identifiable data being shared with the HSCIC, and where a NHS organisation is informed that a service user wishes to prevent identifiable data from being disclosed to HSCIC they must comply. Trusts already routinely anonymise data prior to sending to SUS, in the case of sensitive records (e.g. IVF), and can (and must) do so at a patient's explicit request as well.

Guidance from the HSCIC is here:
http://www.hscic.gov.uk/media/9719/Schem...

(Such a patient would be aware that he/she is not objecting to the trust holding, keeping, maintaining and sharing (where appropriate) clinical information about them for the purposes of direct medical care)

Accordingly, my request is about Frimley Park's process for handling such a request:

• Who would a patient contact at Frimley to request complete anonymisation of any future data sent about them from the trust to SUS? Is there a form to fill-in (please supply), and what forms of identification would they need to provide? What is the full process that such a patient would follow?

• Can you confirm that such a request would have no impact on their eligibility for medical care by the trust?

• Can you confirm that it would not be the patient's responsibility to "organise" or "authorise" payments (i.e. PbR) for any medical treatment received or planned?

• Would such a request be permanent and enduring, or would a patient have to "re-apply" for SUS anonymisation after a defined period of time?

As a - local - GP, I would expect such a request to you to be exceptionally rare, however there is an increasing awareness of patients' rights to control the flow of their personal, confidential and identifiable information around the NHS, particularly for secondary uses, and this awareness will increase significantly in the run-up to care.data extractions due in March 2014.

As per Section 1(4) of the FOI Act
( http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000... ) I would like the information in question held at the time when my request is received (draft or otherwise), except that account may be taken of any amendment or deletion made between now and the latest time by which the information is to be communicated to me, being an amendment or deletion that would have been made regardless of the receipt of my request.

I would be grateful if you would be kind enough to send me the requested information promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt of my request.

I wish to receive the information by email; I believe such a request would be reasonable in these circumstances. As per Section 11 of the FOI Act ( http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000... ) I would be grateful if you would "so far as reasonably practicable give effect to that preference"; if you determine that it is not reasonably practicable to comply with this preference then you are required by law to notify me of the reasons for your determination. As per the Act, I have provided you with a valid return address, namely the unique email address that this request originates from.

If my request is denied in whole or in part, or specific items within the responses are withheld from disclosure, then you must justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act, as per Section 17 of the Act
( http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000... ). Where you rely on a qualified exemption to withhold disclosure, you are obliged to consider the public interest in your decision and the refusal notice must explain not only which exemption applies and why, but also the public interest arguments addressed in reaching the decision.

I would be grateful if you would kindly acknowledge receipt of this request as recommended by the ICO (“It would be good practice to acknowledge receipt of requests and to refer to the 20 working day time limit, so that applicants know their request is being dealt with”).

Thank you once again.

Kind regards,

Dr Neil Bhatia

FOI, Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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Trust Ref: FOI 0442-13

 

Dear Dr Batia

 

Re: Request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

The email address for submitting FOI requests is: [2][Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]
please always use this email address.

The Trust acknowledges your request for information received on 3^rd
December 2013.  The Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires the Trust to
respond within 20 working days, which in this instance is 3^rd January
2014.

However, we will endeavour to send you the information as soon as possible
unless we do not hold it or unless it falls within one of the exemptions
laid down in the Act. We will advise you if your request falls into any of
these categories.

The information provided is the property of Frimley Park Hospital NHS
Trust and subject to Intellectual Property and Database Rights. Any
commercial application or use of this information may be subject to the
provisions of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.
This means that if you wish to re-use the information provided for
commercial purposes for any reason you must ask us for permission to do
so.  Should the Trust agree that the information can be re-used, it will
be subject to the issue of a licence which may or may not involve a fee.

Your name and contact details will be circulated to staff within the Trust
whilst responding to your request for information.  If you do not wish for
your name to be disclosed to staff, please email [3][Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email].

The Trust is entitled to charge for providing copies of the information
requested, where charges are applicable, the Trust will inform you of
these charges.

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Information Governance Office

Frimley Park Hospital

Tel: 01276 604 675

 

If you are dissatisfied with how the processing of your request, you are
entitled to appeal to the Trust, please
email: [4][email address]

Alternatively, you are entitled to appeal to the Information Commissioner
(Tel: 01625 545 745). Further details can be found at [5]www.ico.gov.uk.

 

The contents of this e-mail are intended for the addressee or the person responsible for delivering it to the intended addressee. It may contain privileged or confidential information and/or copyright material. If you have received this e-mail in error, you may not copy or deliver this to anyone else either electronically or by any other means. If you have received this email in error, please advise the sender immediately by using the reply facility on your e-mail software or notify the IT Service Desk on 01276 604604 ext 4777 or [email address]

Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust cannot accept responsibility for the security or accuracy of outgoing electronic mail. Any view or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of the Trust unless specifically stated. The information contained in this e-mail may be subject to public disclosure under UK Legislation. Unless the information is legally exempt from disclosure, the confidentiality of this e-mail, and your reply cannot be guaranteed.

When forwarding on this email, ensure that you have the permission of the email author.

References

Visible links
2. mailto:[Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]
3. mailto:[Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Dear FPH,

Just a polite reminder that you must respond to my FOI request no later than 6th January (i.e. next Monday).

Kind regards,

Dr Neil Bhatia

Dear FPH,

Just a polite reminder that you must respond to my FOI request no later than the end of today, the 6th January.

Kind regards,

Dr Neil Bhatia

FOI, Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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Dear Dr Bhatia

 

Please find attached a letter responding to your FOI Request received on
the 3rd December 2013.

 

The email address for submitting FOI requests is:[2][Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]
please always use this email address.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Governance Office

Tel: 01276 604675 (ext 4675)

 

If you are dissatisfied with the processing of your request, you are
entitled to appeal to the Trust, please
email: [3][email address]

Alternatively, you are entitled to appeal to the Information Commissioner
(Tel: 01625 545 745). Further details can be found at [4]www.ico.gov.uk.

 

The information provided is the property of Frimley Park Hospital NHS
Trust and subject to Intellectual Property and Database Rights. Any
commercial application or use of this information may be subject to the
provisions of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.
This means that if you wish to re-use the information provided for
commercial purposes for any reason you must ask us for permission to do
so.  Should the Trust agree that the information can be re-used, it will
be subject to the issue of a licence which may or may not involve a fee.

The information that has been provided in response to this Freedom of
Information Act request will be subject to copyright protection. In most
cases the copyright will be owned by Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation
Trust.

 

To enquire about re-using the information or if you have any enquiries
about Re-use, please write to us at the above address or email
[5][email address].

 

 

The contents of this e-mail are intended for the addressee or the person responsible for delivering it to the intended addressee. It may contain privileged or confidential information and/or copyright material. If you have received this e-mail in error, you may not copy or deliver this to anyone else either electronically or by any other means. If you have received this email in error, please advise the sender immediately by using the reply facility on your e-mail software or notify the IT Service Desk on 01276 604604 ext 4777 or [email address]

Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust cannot accept responsibility for the security or accuracy of outgoing electronic mail. Any view or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of the Trust unless specifically stated. The information contained in this e-mail may be subject to public disclosure under UK Legislation. Unless the information is legally exempt from disclosure, the confidentiality of this e-mail, and your reply cannot be guaranteed.

When forwarding on this email, ensure that you have the permission of the email author.

References

Visible links
2. mailto:[Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
5. mailto:[email address]

Dr Neil Bhatia left an annotation ()

Information about care.data can be found on my website:

www.care-data.info

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