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COVID-19 at-risk patients Data Provision Notices

To support the collection of data to identify patients who may be clinically extremely vulnerable if they contract COVID-19, to cover general practice and the criminal justice estate. The data collected will be analysed and linked with other data NHS Digital holds to identify a Shielded Patient List of clinically extremely vulnerable patients who will be advised to take shielding measures to protect themselves.

The Department of Health and Social Care has directed NHS Digital to collect this data for the purpose of direct care in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus (also known as coronavirus).

The objective of this collection is, on an ongoing basis, to identify who may be clinically extremely vulnerable if they contract COVID-19.  

The required data comprises two extracts:

  • patients registered at GP practices in England
  • patients registered as part of the criminal justice secure and detained estate in England.

The data collected will be analysed and linked with other data NHS Digital holds to identify a list of clinically extremely vulnerable patients who will be advised to take shielding measures to protect themselves.

Patient level data including name, address, NHS Number and GP practice will be collected for identified patients.

Patients added to the Shielded Patient List (SPL) will be contacted by the NHS on behalf of the Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, to advise of the measures they can take to reduce their risk of contracting the virus and to sign-post them to the Extremely Vulnerable Persons service operated by gov.uk

Find out how the Shielded Patient List is being used.

Find out more about the Extremely Vulnerable Persons service. 

  • General practices within England
  • Criminal justice secure and detained estate in England.

Sections 259(1)(a), 259(5) and 259(8) of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Read the COVID-19 Public Health Directions 2020.

The first extract took place on 18 March 2020. The data specification was outlined in version 1 of the Data Provision Notice.

Version 2 of the Data Provision Notice confirmed the move to weekly collections.

The specification has been further refined, after consultation, and it has now been agreed that the seasonal national flu immunisation programme criteria for 2020 - 2021 will be expanded to include patients on the SPL. Therefore, to provide information that will support the identification of patients at moderate or high risk of complications from flu, a revision to the weekly extract of data has taken place.

This, version three of the extract for the purpose of maintaining and updating the SPL, will continue until the expiry of the COVID-19 Direction. This is currently 31 March 2022 but will be reviewed in September 2020 and every six months thereafter. The frequency of the data collection may change in response to demand.

Read Version 3 of the Data Provision Notice for General Practices.

The first extract will take place week commencing 20 April 2020 and will run on a weekly basis until September 2020, or earlier if the rationale for the collection is finished for the purposes of maintaining and updating the Shielded Patient List. 

The data specification is outlined in the supporting Data Provision Notice.

Read the Data Provision Notice for the criminal justice secure and detained estate 

Last edited: 18 September 2020 4:07 pm