A data provision notice (DPN) for a data collection on Online and Video Consultation in General Practices was issued to general practices in England on 10 January 2022. NHS England has directed NHS Digital to collect and analyse data in connection with online and video consultations in general practice. This data collection is to replace the summary collection that was implemented as part of the national response to Covid-19 and collected under a special covid arrangement under COPI.
Practices will need to legally comply with the DPN and provide permission for the extract via the Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS). The legal basis is established in the DPN.
It is a “participation only” service, all practices need to do is give permission through CQRS to enable the extraction of data specified in the DPN and then the data will be provided directly to NHS Digital by the online consultation and video consultation suppliers on behalf of practices. The first data collection is due to be taken in February 2022 and then weekly ongoing. There is no end date specified in the DPN.
The Registered Manager at the practice should have received an email notification from NHS Digital for this DPN and also have received an email from the London Immunisation team asking them to give permission for this data extraction through CQRS.
Appendix A provides a link to the data specification where details of each data item to be extracted can be found. The National Data Opt-Out will not apply to the extraction of data and the information to be collected does not include patient identifiers such as name, address or NHS Number. The data will not be shared publicly but will be shared with practices, commissioners, and national NHS organisations to help understand the use of these systems and how they can be improved.
As required under section 258 of the 2012 Act, the Joint General Practitioners Committee (GPC) and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) IT subcommittee (also referred to as the Joint GP IT Committee), which is part of the British Medical Association (BMA) were consulted with on this data collection.
The DPN states that the direction from NHSE is to formalise the collection beyond the national COVID-19 response and to:
- Improve the collection of online consultation and video consultation activity in GP practices to provide a fuller picture of workload and activity.
- Provide meaningful metrics to support implementation of online and video consultations.
- Be used to inform incentive schemes including the Investment and Impact Fund (IIF). This is being issued by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) to all GP practices and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) as part of delivering high quality care to their populations as well as delivering objectives in the NHS Long Term Plan .
- Enable informed and value-based commissioning of online and video consultation products.
- Help General Practices focus on the delivery of good outcomes for patients, staff and the wider system.
- Be used to monitor and drive product development to deliver the right outcomes for General Practice.
- Help standardise reporting from online consultation system suppliers for consistency Direction Requirements Specification for OC/VC extended dataset v 1.1.
- Be used to distribute implementation resources and share learning more effectively within a system based on outcomes.
- Extract data items that would not otherwise be available from other national data collections or General Practice clinical systems.
- Enable OC/VC data to be combined with General Practice Appointment Data (GPAD) for use in the GPAD publication. The data used will be a count of clinical OC/VC appointments to combine with similar non-OC/VC appointments at the General Practice level found in GPAD to allow a more holistic view of appointment activity.