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GPES data for pandemic planning and research (COVID-19)
To support the response to the coronavirus outbreak, NHS Digital has been legally directed to collect and analyse healthcare information about patients, including from their GP record, for the duration of the coronavirus emergency period. See GPES data for pandemic planning and research (COVID-19) for more information.
- the GP Data Collector tool to query the database
- extraction tools (GPET-E) designed by clinical system suppliers
For information about the development of GPES, see our Independent Advisory Group (IAG) documents.
We started taking applications for 2019/20 data collections from July 2018.
Improvement to capacity from April 2019 means we can now run more extracts next financial year.
We will still prioritise applications based on their benefits to make best use of this increased capacity.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018/19 requests closed
We have now stopped taking requests for GP data collections for this financial year.
Types of data
GPES can collect 2 different types of information:
- effectively anonymised data that doesn't reveal an individual's identity
- patient-identifiable data (PID), that may identify an individual, such as a name, date of birth or postcode
PID data is only used when information is permitted by law or supports direct benefits to patient care. Find out more about how we look after health and care information.
How GP Collections work
We gather information and data, which is copied in to our systems. Data is collected automatically over a specified period of time - this is known as an extract. We normally use the following process:
- GPs record activity in their clinical systems for the services they provide.
- NHS England, or another organisation, requests information about a particular GP service.
- NHS England area teams offer GPs the option to participate in collections for that service.
- GPs agree to participate in collections for that service on CQRS.
- We collect information from GP clinical systems using GPES over a specified period.
- Practices will be able to use their own clinical system to view copies of data extracts. (Clinical suppliers will provide information to practices on how to do this.)
- If required, GP staff enter information manually into CQRS.
- We display the information we collect in CQRS.
- GPs check that the information collected is the same as is in their clinical system.
- If it's payment related, GPs 'declare' information from the collection to Regional Local Offices - who approve via CQRS.
- We provide the information to the organisation that requested it.
Some GP information needs to be inputted by hand into CQRS, including some Enhanced Services. This is either because the service hasn't yet been set up for automated collection, or the organisation requesting the information hasn't chosen this method.
Once entered, manually collected information is processed and displayed in CQRS in the same way as automatically collected data. We advise GPs in advance if a service needs to be manually inputted and we provide CQRS user guides explaining this process.
Requests for information are assessed by our information governance system for risks and benefits and to determine whether they are in the public interest. From May 2012 to June 2015, applications for data extracts to GPES were assessed by the Independent Advisory Group (IAG).
The old IAG documents are available on The National Archives.
Have a question about GPES?
Find out about the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) Domain Message Specification.