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GP data could be included on controversial new federated platform, says health secretary

GP data could be included on controversial new federated platform, says health secretary

The health secretary has indicated that GP data could be included in the controversial federated data platform (FDP).

Discussing the FDP at the Times Health Summit today, Victoria Atkins said the Government ‘absolutely’ wants to ‘bring this together’, when asked whether GPs will be linked up with hospitals.

She also acknowledged that there will be concerns from GPs around data privacy.

The FDP, which aims to bring together operational and patient data from different NHS organisations to boost collaboration, will be rolled out from spring this year. 

US tech giant Palantir was awarded a seven-year contract worth £330m to deliver the FDP in November, which caused concern among doctors, including the BMA and the Doctors’ Association UK.

The NHS England website currently says GP data will not be included in the platform at a national level, and only in a local version where there is a data sharing agreement between the integrated care system (ICS) and GPs.

But today, Ms Atkins suggested GP data may be linked up with hospital data more widely.

In response to a question on whether GPs will be linked up with hospitals on the platform, she said: ‘The idea is that we want to absolutely bring this together, I’m very conscious […] there will be understandable concerns raised by some in general practice as to privacy and data security.

‘In this day and age we have to address those concerns head on, which by the way we’ve done, I think, with the FDP because we’re putting in that extra layer of checks and data security. But we need to do that and bring everybody with us.’

GP leaders expressed concerns over Palantir and the safe use of patient data back in June when NHSE awarded Palantir a £24.9m contract to ‘transition’ existing NHS platforms into the new FDP. 

NHS England has previously said that companies involved in the FDP will not be able to access health and care data ‘without the explicit permission of the NHS’, and the platform ‘will not be used to access data for research purposes’.

In September, NHS England announced £2m of funding for an engagement campaign to gather views from patients on how data in their GP record is used – NHS data projects such as the federated data platform will be discussed at these events.

It comes as NHS England has asked remaining GP practices to engage with local commissioners to set up record access via the NHS app, after the ICO responded to data protection concerns.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Mark Coley 6 February, 2024 1:14 pm

Data in local shared care records may end up in a local instance of the FDP in due course. Patients can opt out of having their data in local shared care records.

SUBHASH BHATT 6 February, 2024 4:05 pm

If full access given including paper notes , Pt may find some interesting comments by gps amd in hospital. Letters.

Sam Macphie 6 February, 2024 6:26 pm

100s of £Millions spent by this government, Mandy Preachhard (CEO NHSE), Vicky Hatpins, (health secretary), and others
on a platform (FDP) when most voters would actually prefer a real hospital bed, capacity to have a seat near a NHS GP or even a NHS dentist; but no, Rashy Sanuk, in an election year (risky) is promoting the squandering of £Millions on some sort of ‘platform’. Laughable squanderers.

Finola ONeill 9 February, 2024 12:31 pm

The data is worth unimaginable amounts to pharamceutical companies, genetic tech development cpmpanies etc. US companies are chasing this down. Its not laughable or squandering, it is really really dogy. I note Wed Streeting is chasing down GP data too. It’s because all the useful data; diagnoses, tests results, coded info is in GP notes. The only useful data to these big comapnies is the GP data; hospital data incomplete, not read coded and doesn’t go back very far. Currently the data sharing to the NHS App, which will then be available to who know who, is prospective. But they will chase that retrospective data and they will chase it for the federated platform too. They won’t allow it to be opt in because they need full uptake because it is the population level data that makes it so valuable and having an incomplete data set removes that massive value. There you go. None of this is being done for patients. it’s for profits. Massive massive profits.