How we process information within the CCG

Data may be anonymised and linked with other data so that it can be used to improve health care and development and monitor NHS performance. Where data is used for these statistical purposes, stringent measures are taken to ensure individual patients cannot be identified.

When analysing current health services and proposals for developing future services it is sometimes necessary to link separate individual datasets to be able to produce a comprehensive evaluation. This may involve linking primary care data from your doctor (GP) with other data such as hospital inpatient stays, outpatient appointments and A&E attendances; this type of data is called secondary uses service (SUS) data.

In some cases there may also be a need to link local datasets which could include a range of other hospital based services such as radiology, physiotherapy, audiology etc., as well as mental health and community-based clinics and services such as district nursing, podiatry etc. When carrying out this analysis, the linkage of these datasets is always done using a unique identifier (pseudonymised) that does not reveal a person’s identity as the CCG does not have any access to identifiable data for these purposes.

We also contract with other organisations to process data on our behalf. These organisations are known as data processors and we ensure they are legally and contractually bound to operate and prove security arrangements are in place where data that could or does identify a person are processed.

A full list of details including the legal basis, any data processor involvement and the purposes for processing information can be found in Appendix A.

What safeguards ensure data that identifies you is secure?