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COVID Oximetry @home: transparency notice

Version 2: 7 November 2022. 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. 

Oximetry notice

In July 2022, NHS Digital started a managed closure of the COVID Oximetry @home data services it provides to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). This was to align with the end of the COVID-19 COPI notices and to reduce data collection burden. The closure is now complete.

A national supply of pulse oximeters remains available by request to support COVID Oximetry @home services. 

Purpose

NHS England recommended that all Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) should put in place a ‘COVID Oximetry @home’ (CO@h) service in April 2020. The purpose of the CO@h service was to detect earlier deterioration in the community of COVID-19 diagnosed cases by self-monitoring so that patients could get treatment quicker. 

NHS Digital was providing information about potentially eligible patients to CO@h providers so that individuals could be contacted and offered the service. The CO@h providers then reviewed the data and identified those who were likely to benefit from the service. At the point of COVID-19 diagnosis, if an individual was 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 then they were encouraged to be enrolled in the CO@h service. 

The programme closed in June 2022. NHS Digital ceased sending the daily patient list on the 30th of June 2022 to CCGs. The final SitRep collection was submitted to NHSD on the 6 July 2022.

NHS Digital completed the following activities in support of the closure of the COVID Oximetry programme of work:

1.    Processing of all CO@h data has ceased unless the access to data is required under point 5
2.    All access to data is disabled and any previous test data has been removed.
3.    Legal and Information Governance documentation to support the closure reviewed, approved and published.
4.    All approvals obtained to support the closure 
5.    Data is archived and retained for 3 purposes and associated time frames:

  • Freedom of Information Requests - (3 years maximum)
  • Data Subject Access Requests (DSARS) - (3 years maximum)
  • COVID-19 Public Inquiry - (Until Public Inquiry is completed)

After these are completed, data will be deleted.

NHS England continue to support CO@h by supplying pulse oximeters on demand and have recommended that providers should continue to provide oximetry service as good practice.


How we obtained your data

Identifying patients for inclusion into the CO@h service was carried out by using data we already held as the national safe haven for health and care data in England.

Data was collected by NHS Digital to support the management of the CO@h service and to assist with the service evaluation. This data was 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).

NHS Digital no longer collects data for CO@h purposes as the CO@h  programme is now closed.


Types of personal data we processed

The CO@H service data contains the name, NHS number, sex, postcode and contact number (where registered with a GP), DOB, COVID-19 test result and date and information on whether you were clinically extremely vulnerable, taken from the Shield Patient List (SPL). 

It also contains 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 are self-discharged and the date you finished on the CO@h service. Processing of all CO@h data has ceased, and the programme fully closed. All future processing of this data will be subject to a new commission and approvals.


Who we shared your personal data with

NHS Digital ceased sharing updates to the CO@h with organisations after July 2022.

We previously shared relevant information from the CO@h with organisations who have responsibilities for providing care and support to the patients on the List. This included:

  • 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)
  • with NHS England and partners commissioned by NHS England to conduct the evaluation and to support service evaluation.

In addition, to support management reporting, we have also published and shared anonymous data to enable the NHS and other organisations to support statistical analysis as part of the response to COVID-19. Anonymous data may also be shared to respond to queries in relation to the COVID-19 Public Inquiry.


How long we keep your personal data for

NHS Digital retains personal data for as long as is necessary for the purposes in accordance with NHS Digital’s Records Management Policy.

Data will be retained for 3 purposes and associated timeframes:

  • Freedom of Information Requests - (3 years maximum)
  • Data Subject Access Requests (DSARS) - (3 years maximum)
  • COVID-19 Public Inquiry - (Until Public Inquiry is completed)

This will be monitored and managed by the IAO function within Data Services. 

In March 2022 the Government announced that there will be a COVID-19 Public Inquiry and the associated COVID-19 Inquiry Terms of Reference includes shielding within its scope.  Your personal data will be held in identifiable form in archive initially for three years as it is considered necessary to meet the needs of the Public Inquiry. Where there is a clear need for this period to be extending for the purpose of the COVID-19 Public Inquiry, approval will be sought from IAO and IG Lead.

CCG’s  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.


*In March 22 the Government announced that there will be a COVID-19 Public Inquiry, the associated  COVID-19 Inquiry Terms of Reference includes COVID Oximetry at home within its scope.

Therefore, the personal data will be held in identifiable form in archive for as long as it is considered necessary to meet the needs of the Public Inquiry, as it is considered that this access may be necessary to support queries from the Public Inquiry. 


Lawful basis for NHS Digital to disseminate

NHS Digital will not be disseminating CO@h.


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.

Last edited: 7 November 2022 9:35 am