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COVID Oximetry @home: transparency notice
Version 1: 22 January 2021. We process patients’ personal data in order to provide the COVID Oximetry @home programme. This notice outlines what data is collected, how it is processed, and what we do with it.
NHS England has recommended that all Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) should put in place a ‘COVID Oximetry @home’ (CO@h) service during November 2020. The purpose of the CO@h service is to detect earlier deterioration in the community of COVID-19 diagnosed cases by self-monitoring so that patients can get treatment quicker. This will lower COVID-19 deaths from silent hypoxia (where a person’s oxygen levels in their blood cells and tissues can drop without warning), reduce patients’ length of stay in hospital and potentially free up critical care beds.
NHS Digital is providing information about potentially eligible patients to CO@h providers so that individuals may be contacted and offered the service. The CO@h providers will review the data and identify those who are likely to benefit from the service. At the point of COVID-19 diagnosis, if you are either (a) over 65, or (b) under 65 at high COVID-19 risk (using the Shielded Patient List, with clinical judgement) AND showing symptoms, then you will be encouraged to be enrolled in the CO@h service.
As you are self-isolating, you will be lent an NHS oximeter (used to check the levels of oxygen in your blood). You will receive instructions to self-monitor and record the results, and told when to ask for more help.
To ensure the service is operating well and achieving its desired health outcomes, NHS Digital will also collect data from CCGs and providers for 2 main uses,
- A national evaluation of the service looking at outcomes for patients.
- Management reporting, to understand such things as numbers of oximeters in stock, to make sure the service can run effectively.
How we obtain your personal data
Identifying patients for inclusion into the CO@h service is being carried out by using data we already hold as the national safe haven for health and care data in England.
Data will be collected by NHS Digital to support the management of the CO@h service and to assist with the service evaluation. This data will be collected from CO@h providers. (COVID Oximetry @home providers are either your CCG or a health service provider commissioned by your CCG, such as the local trust, GP or community services).
Types of personal data we process
Data used to identify whether you would be suitable for the CO@h service includes:
- NHS number
- contact number
- registered GP practice
- date of birth
- COVID-19 test result and date
- if you are clinically extremely vulnerable
Information on whether you are clinically extremely vulnerable is taken from the Shielded Patient List (SPL). Get more information on the SPL.
Data collected to support evaluation and management reporting includes:
- NHS number
- date of birth
- COVID-19 test result and date
- where you have been referred from
- the date you were enrolled onto the CO@h service
- your oximeter readings
- the date you started showing symptoms
- if you were discharged or whether you self-discharged
- the date you finished on the CO@h service
Who we share your personal data with
We are sharing relevant information with organisations who have responsibilities for delivering the COVID Oximetry @home service.
To identify whether you would be suitable for the CO@h service, NHS Digital will share your data with the COVID Oximetry @home provider responsible for your care. (COVID Oximetry @home providers are either your CCG or a health service provider commissioned by your CCG, such as the local Trust, GP or community services)
To support service evaluation, data will be shared with NHS England and partners commissioned by NHS England to conduct the evaluations.
We will also use and share information from the COVID Oximetry @home service for planning, commissioning, and research purposes. This will include sharing information with NHS organisations, government departments, other public authorities, and research organisations. We will only share identifiable information about those patients in the COVID Oximetry @home service where it is lawful for us to do so and under a terms of release letter which:
- details the terms of release and the agreed purposes for which the data can be used
- identifies other organisations who may be permitted to use or receive the data and for what agreed purposes
- sets out the lawful basis for sharing and using the data
- obtains commitments from the recipient to the secure handling and management of the data, including its destruction once the agreed purposes have been met
In addition, to support management reporting, we will publish and share anonymous data to enable the NHS and other organisations to support statistical analysis as part of the response to COVID-19.
How long we keep your personal data for
We will retain your personal data for as long as is necessary for the purpose outlined above in accordance with the Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016 and NHS Digital’s Records Management Policy.
Other organisations with whom we share your personal data have obligations to keep it for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which we have shared your personal data. Information about this will be provided in their transparency or privacy notices which are published on their websites.
Where we store the data
NHS Digital only stores and processes your personal data for this service within the United Kingdom.
Fully anonymous data, for example, statistical data (which does not allow you to be identified), may be stored and processed outside of the UK.
Legal basis of this data collection
The health and social care system is taking action to manage and mitigate the spread and impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Action to be taken requires the collection, analysis and sharing of information, including confidential patient information where necessary and lawful, amongst health organisations and other appropriate bodies. This is due to the urgent need to protect public health and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
To support the healthcare response to COVID-19, NHS Digital has been directed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (the Secretary of State) and NHS England under the COVID-19 Directions to:
- establish information systems to collect and analyse data in connection with COVID-19; and
- develop and operate IT systems to deliver services in connection with COVID-19
Your rights over your personal data
To read more about the health and care information NHS Digital collects, our legal basis for collecting this information and what choices and rights you have, see how we look after your health and care information, our general transparency notice and our Coronavirus (COVID-19) response transparency notice.
We may make changes to this transparency notice. If we do, the ‘last updated’ date at the top of the notice will also change. Any changes to this notice will apply immediately from the date of any change.