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What is it?
Population Health Management (or PHM for short) is aimed at improving the health of an entire population. It is being implemented across the NHS and this Practice is taking part in a project extending across Devon.
PHM is about improving the physical and mental health outcomes and wellbeing of people and making sure that access to services is fair, timely and equal. It helps to reduce the occurrence of ill-health and looks at all the wider factors that affect health and care.
The PHM approach requires health care organisations to work together with communities and partner agencies, for example, GP practices, community service providers, hospitals and other health and social care providers.
These organisations will share and combine information with each other in order to get a view of health and services for the population in a particular area. This information sharing is subject to robust security arrangements.
How will my Personal Data be used?
The information will include personal data about your health care. This information will be combined and anything that can identify you (like your name or NHS Number) will be removed and replaced with a unique code.
This means that the people working with the data will only see the code and cannot see which patient the information relates to.
Examples of how the information could be used for a number of healthcare related activities include;
Who will my Personal Data be shared with?
Your GP and other care providers will send the information they hold on their systems to NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the NHS organisation responsible for planning, commissioning (or buying) and developing healthcare services for the 1.2 million people who live in Devon.
NHS Devon CCG will link all the information together. Your GP and other care providers will then review this information and make decisions about the whole population or particular patients that might need additional support.
The CCG is legally obliged to protect your information and maintain confidentiality in the same way that your GP or hospital provider is.
Is using my Personal Data in this way lawful?
Health and Social Care Providers are permitted by data protection law to use personal information where it is ‘necessary for medical purposes’. This includes caring for you directly as well as management of health services more generally.
Some of the work that happens at a national level with your personal information is enabled by other legislation. Sharing and using your information in this way helps to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law and, in the majority of cases, pseudonymised data is used so that you cannot be identified.
Can I object to my Personal Data being used as part of the Personal Health Management project?
You have a right to object to your personal information being used in this way. If you do choose to ‘opt out’ please contact your GP practice in the first instance. If you are happy for your personal information to be used as part of this project then you do not need to do anything further, although you do have the right to change your mind at any time.
If you still have concerns, you can also contact the Information Commissioner’s Office directly at the following link https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/your-personal-information-concerns/.