NHS Digital processes personal data to produce a Shielded Patient List (SPL) of patients in England who have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable in relation to coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19).
The shielding programme in England has now ended, which means that those who were previously identified as clinically extremely vulnerable are no longer being asked to shield. However, the list is currently still being held and maintained by NHS Digital as information about those who were previously identified as clinically extremely vulnerable is used by health and social care services to provide care and treatment, to plan health and social care services and to carry out medical research.
Patients on the SPL will receive a letter and email (if an email address has been previously registered with their GP) informing them that shielding has ended and advising them of support that is available to them should they continue to need it.
NHS Digital is conducting a managed closure of the SPL and this Transparency Notice will be updated as appropriate to reflect any further changes in processing personal data as a result of the closure of the SPL.
If you have previously been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable, you can find more guidance about what to do now on NHS.UK and in the guidance from Public Health England.
As someone who was identified as clinically extremely vulnerable you may be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination. You can read more about how patients are prioritised for vaccination and NHS Digital’s role.
NHS Digital also processed personal data of patients who use the NHS.UK Get Vitamin D Supplements Service. The application service has now closed, we will continue to process data to complete the vitamin delivery activities.
NHS Digital is the controller of the personal data in the List under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) jointly with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, who has directed NHS Digital to collect and analyse data for purposes relating to COVID-19 under the COVID-19 Public Health Directions 2020 (COVID-19 Directions).
A Data Protection Impact Assess (DPIA) has been undertaken and completed for the SPL and is subject to ongoing review as and when the service is revised.