The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

An ICO spokesperson said:

“Data Protection law enables organisations to share data safely and, when it comes to using health information there are particular safeguards that must be put in place to protect people’s privacy. This ensures people’s data isn’t used or shared in ways they wouldn’t expect.

“The success of any project will rely on people trusting and having confidence in how their personal data will be used. It is crucial that, from the start, thought is given to how this can be explained clearly to people.

“We recognise the concerns people have with the GP Data for Planning and Research programme and, while we have already engaged with NHS Digital regarding their data protection obligations, we continue to work with them and others about next steps.”