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Creating a new NHS England: Health Education England, NHS Digital and NHS England have merged. More about the merger.

Internal processing

Once the data is collected from GP system suppliers (GPSS), validation on the file structure and contents will be carried out before files are accepted by NHS Digital’s GP Data Collector system. The data will then be processed by the Data Management Service (DMS) to create a data asset. The processing involves loading the files from GPSS into a secure database and linking to corporate reference data to provide additional demographic information. This process also removes any Personal Identifiable Data (PID) from the data asset.

Data quality will be checked against the standard six data quality characteristics, which are coverage, completeness, validity, default, integrity and timeliness, as per the requirements of NHSE and NHSI.

Many of the SNOMED CT codes used to specify the data items listed are also used in the Quality and Outcomes and Framework (QOF) and other payment extractions and therefore the data quality of these codes is expected to be high. For other SNOMED CT codes that are not used in payment extractions, the data quality may not be as high. Analysis conducted by NHSE and NHSI will determine this.

Other non-coded information will be validated against standard NHS Digital protocols. For example: patient NHS Number will be validated against the Modulus 11 algorithm and GP practice code will be validated against reference data held by NHS Digital.

Data linkage

As described above, data collected under these Directions will be linked by NHS Digital to corporate reference data to provide additional demographic information.

NHSE and NHSI wish to link the PHSMI primary care General Practice data with the Mental Health Standard Data Set (MHSDS), the secondary care Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data and mortality data, in order to track the monitoring and evaluation of national programme delivery across the life course and care pathway, and to determine impact on outcomes and health inequalities. This will be managed by the NHS Digital Data Access Request Service (DARS) with oversight from Independent Group Advising on Data Release (IGARD) where appropriate.

Subject to NHSE and NHSI gaining appropriate authorisation via DARS/IGARD, data collected under these Directions may also be linked to other data sets held by NHS Digital to provide richer information, enhance existing publications, develop new publications, and to respond to requests from NHSE and NHSI. More information about the data sets and collections that NHS Digital hold and that may be used for linkage can be found on the NHS Digital data collections and data sets webpage.

Last edited: 22 March 2023 11:09 am