Research Data

We provide data in an anonymised form to the Clinical Practice Research Database (CPRD), part of the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) at the Department of Health. The CPRD is a highly respected and ethically approved organisation has provided data for a great many important published medical studies in this and other countries over the past few years – you may well have heard some of the results in the national press. None of this data can be identified in any way with any individual and we have strict controls to check this.

Similarly we provide non-identifiable data to QResearch, a medical research organisation based at the University of Oxford, which has produced invaluable research about risk and provided many useful clinical risk assessment tools for GPs based on the evidence analysed from 30 million patients’ records in general practice.

We provide similar data to the Royal College of GPs Research & Surveillance Centre (operating since 1957) run in conjunction with Oxford University Clinical Information Digital Hub (ORCHID). This takes regular pseudonymised feeds of patient data to enable rapid surveillance of infections such as influenza and Covid-19 to help Public Health England monitor these rapidly changing conditions and to engage especially in quick and agile clinical trials (such as the emerging treatments and vaccines for Covid-19). You may also be invited to take part in research projects.

Your care may well have been improved though knowledge obtained from these three bodies and they are of international importance.

Access to Medical Records (Subject Access Requests)

We receive many requests for releasing specific parts or all of your medical records or preparing reports for insurance companies, solicitors or other outside agencies. We can only ever release such information with your written consent and we have strict procedures. You may be asked to sign additional practice consent if we are unsure about whether you have been fully informed before giving your content.

You – or a nominated representative – have the right to view or receive copies your medical records, in most cases without a fee (though if the request is excessive we may inform you of a charge). This is called a Subject Access Request (SAR). Though we have up to one month to provide the information, we try to do it more quickly, normally within 21 days.

You may request this verbally though we prefer in writing or by email. We have a request form which is not a requirement but helps us to understand what information you are looking for. Often it does not require the time-consuming copying and printing of all of your records (can be hundreds of sheets of paper stretching back decades). To save trees, we may agree with you to provide the record by secure email, on a CD or other media.

Don’t forget you may view your more recent medical records online using Patient Access and this is a convenient way of accessing your information instantly.