NHS England is commissioning a modern data service from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) on behalf of the entire health and social care system. Known as care.data, this programme will build on the existing data services such as the Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) service, which was launched in 1989, and expand it to provide linked data, that will eventually cover all care settings, both in and outside of hospital.
Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, NHS England has the power to direct the HSCIC to collect information from all providers of NHS care, including general practices.
Initially the data will cover the period from April 2013 onwards. The identifiers to be extracted are: NHS number, date of birth, postcode, and gender which will allow patients’ GP data to be linked to their hospital data. No free text will be extracted, only coded information about referrals, NHS prescriptions and other clinical data.
Benefits of sharing information
It is important for the NHS to share information about the health needs of the population and the quality of the treatments they receive.
By sharing information in this way, researchers can identify patterns in disease and the most effective treatments. We can also:
- find more effective ways of preventing or managing illnesses;
- advise local decision makers how best to meet the needs of local communities;
- promote public health by monitoring risks of disease spread
- map out pathways of care to streamline inefficiencies and reduce waiting times
- determine how to use NHS resources most fairly and efficiently.
More Information can be found by following the link below: