We've written these FAQs for GPs about the care.data programme.

Q. What should I do if a patient wants to opt out of the extraction process?

The right to object to the extraction process is given to patients through the NHS constitution (the right does not fall under section 10 of the Data Protection Act).

GPs must therefore code patient’s records accordingly if they indicate that they wish to object to the extraction process. Further information about how to initiate this process should be sought from the HSCIC.

GP practices can call the HSCIC Contact Centre on 0845 300 6016 (open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)

Information for patients is available at: www.nhs.uk/caredata

Q. What are my obligations in relation to fair processing and the Data Protection Act?

It is the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA) that gives NHS England permission to extract the data. However, as data controllers, GPs still have the obligation, under the DPA, to process data fairly and lawfully. In terms of the care.data programme, this means actively providing information to patients, including the basis and process of the objection process. 

The posters, leaflets and additional guidance provided by NHS England on their website are all useful tools to help you do this, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you are satisfied that, as far as practically possible, all patients are aware of these changes.

Further information on fair processing can be found in our ‘Privacy notices code of practice’. 

Q. What should I do if my practice uses a third party supplier to manage IT solutions?

GPs must give instruction to third party suppliers or contractors to allow, or provide the HSCIC with access to extract the data (when required). Without this instruction the contractor would not be able to pass the information on.