Time Is Running Out for COPI Notices. How Can the NHS Prepare For Continued Data Sharing Across The Healthcare Network?

By Credera

During the pandemic, the Department of Health and Social Care issued COPI notices to healthcare organisations, GPs, local authorities and arm’s length bodies so that they could share information to support efforts against coronavirus (COVID-19). These notices are due to expire on the 31st March 2022.

Ahead of this date, organisations who wish to continue accessing patient information and sharing data for inclusion in the “Shared Care Record” are being encouraged to transition to a more long-term legal basis. This legal basis is known as Regulation 5 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information).

The sharing of healthcare data for research and planning purposes during the pandemic has proven invaluable in the UK’s response to COVID-19. Indeed, the NHS Long Term Plan sets out a vision for how patient data should be shared effectively across the United Kingdom to allow clinicians to access all patient records nationally.

Integrated Care Systems are currently in the process of being defined and the NHSX frontline digitisation programme is providing investment and guidance on the adoption of integrated EPR (Electronic Patient Record) solutions.

However, underpinning this broader strategy requires organisations to undertake Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA’s) and implement robust Data Sharing Agreements as part of the Information Governance process. This is to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of “Shared Care Records”.

From our extensive public sector data programme experience, they recommend that ICSs and the broader NHS consider the importance of a joined-up strategy for how data should be shared across the system.

Understand more about this on their website.