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Posted on June 11th, 2021


Collection of GP Data for Planning and research

The collection of GP Data for Planning and Research will now take place from 1 September 2021, rather than 1 July.

We all know data saves lives and there is no clearer demonstration of this than our response to the pandemic. The use of data allowed us to bring down the hospitalisations from COVID-19 by creating a Shielded Patients’ List, for example.

We now have a further two months to first take your feedback and then to communicate more widely with patients in a public conversation.

We’ll also work with other interested parties such as health charities and research organisations to share a wider message about the benefits of the data collection to the health service and life sciences.

The current system for collecting patient data is over 10 years-old and needs to be replaced. It’s clear that making better use of data benefits us all in so many ways from the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to helping find treatments for serious conditions such as coronavirus, cancer and heart disease.

This new improved system will help researchers by combining information covering all phases of a patient diagnosis and treatment, which is already proving vital in investigating Long Covid, for example. The NHS will also use the data to help plan better service provision and ensure there is no disparity in outcomes for different patient groups, as is already being done for patients with learning disabilities, for example.

You and your patients can be reassured that the data is securely protected and will only be made available for the purposes of healthcare planning and research.  All requests to access any data that has come from GPs are subject to independent oversight and scrutiny, including review by the Profession Advisory Group which includes members from the BMA and RCGP.

Find out more about the deferral of the GP Data for Planning and Research data collection.


Alternative point of care systems available

New assured point of care systems for recording COVID-19 vaccinations, EVA Health and TPP systems, are being made available for the practice as an alternative to Pinnacle. This provides greater choice and reduces reliance on any one supplier.

As currently happens, all the data will flow into the GP record within 48 hours.

Other supplier systems are likely to be available in the coming months. For the latest system approval status visit NHS Digital’s website


COVID-19 status service available for patients

A new service allowing you to share your COVID-19 status is available via the NHS App and the NHS website.

Those in England who have had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is currently two doses of any approved vaccine, will be able to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccination status for international travel using this service.

Anyone without a smartphone who needs to prove their Covid-19 status, can request a letter through the NHS website or ring 119.

Read our GP guidance about the NHS App.


Changes to blood and organ donation preferences

In September 2021 Open Exeter is being decommissioned and the service that enables you to process blood and organ preferences from the Family Doctor Services Registration form (GMS1) will be ending.

In the meantime, please continue to input your patients’ preferences into Open Exeter in the usual way using the current GMS1 form.

A new GMS1 form is being produced that will no longer include blood and organ preferences. We will share the new GMS1 form and guidance on how to use it when it is available.

Further information and updates about these changes will be made available on the Open Exeter webpage.


Making e-Referrals easier

We are improving the design of the referral summary screen to make the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) easier to use from mid-June onwards by reducing the number of steps needed to manage patient referrals.

You can book onto one of our awareness sessions here. The slides from the awareness sessions and the video outlining the material covered can be found on the End User Support section of this overview of the changes.



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