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Critical Care and Peri-operative Medicine Research Group

RESURGENT Privacy Notice - Project 1

Project 1 - Privacy Notice

This Privacy Notice explains how we will process (e.g. collect, use, store, and share) your data as part of the RESURGENT study. We will process any data about you in accordance with this Privacy Notice and with applicable law.

The name and contact details of the data controller.

Barts Health NHS Trust, The Royal London Hospital, 80 Newark Street, London, England, E1 2ES

The name and contact details of the data controller's representative.

Dr Tom Abbott;

The contact details of the data controller's data protection officer.

Barts Health NHS Trust, 3rd Floor, 9 Prescot Street, Aldgate, London, E1 8PR, 020 7480 4892,

The purposes of the processing.

The study group are accessing National Health Service (NHS) Digital Data Access Environment (DAE) to process Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data on a continuous system access basis.

This processing is required to determine the disruption caused to NHS procedures during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, to map how procedures are re-starting and to determine the potential impact of future waves of COVID-19 on services.

More than 8 million hospital procedures take place annually within the NHS. The repurposing of staff, equipment and facilities led to many procedures being cancelled. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, some 1.8 million patients were awaiting care, and preliminary models suggest that a further 2.2 million procedures were cancelled or delayed because of the initial peak. However, this model relies on several assumptions about the number of procedures that were cancelled and how rapidly services can resume. Social distancing and pre-procedural testing guidance, as well as the potential need to cancel further procedures should there be new peaks, will limit how quickly services can re-establish.

The requested data will be used to inform policy makers at a local and national level about the ongoing need for care, to support future care provision and to plan for subsequent waves should they emerge. Potential approaches, including use of independent sector bed capacity and segregation of hospitals into COVID-free and COVID-affected sites have all been suggested, but there is limited information to support decision making.

All data will be accessed via the secure DAE and will be used to:

  • Accurately determine how many procedures were cancelled during the initial peak of the pandemic
  • Monitor resumption of procedures (including diagnostics and surgical procedures), the characteristics of those undergoing procedures, geographical variation and associated outcomes (including length of hospital stay, critical care utilisation, re-attendance)
  • Determine the impact of future waves of COVID-19 on future NHS care
  • Produce refined projections of the likely need for surgical care and resources required to do this based on existing models.
  • To contextualise these in the context of overall hospital utilisation and historic patterns of care.

Only pseudonymised patient-level data will be used. Access to historical data (1st April 2014 to 31st December 2019) is required to provide comparisons to the COVID-19 year (1st January 2020 onwards). Processing the data on a rolling basis in the DAE will allow near real time monitoring of the resumption of care.

The following datasets are required for the aims of this project:

  • HES Admitted Patient Care (APC)
  • HES Critical Care (ACCD)
  • HES Outpatients (OP)

Admitted Patient Care data will be used to determine the number of patients undergoing procedures, their characteristics, and outcomes. Data will be accessed for all inpatient records such that the resumption of surgery can be contextualised against the number of patients in hospital with other conditions.

Adult critical care data will be used to determine the frequency with which patients require critical care following procedures, and comparison with historical data will enable analysis of how critical care utilisation for surgery changed in the context of a surge in requirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outpatient data is required as many diagnostic procedures take place on an outpatient basis.

Barts Health NHS Trust will be the data controller. Barts Health NHS Trust and Queen Mary University of London will be joint data processors. All analyses will take place within the secure NHS Digital data access environment by substantive employees of a data processor.  

There is no flow of identifiable patient data and as such, ethical review is not required. Data will be accessed only by the license holder using the secure DAE. All outputs will be aggregated in line with NHS Digital guidance and standard statistical disclosure methods. There is therefore low risk of harm to the public, and the outputs of this research will have significant benefit to wider public health. The findings of the project will support decision making at a national, regional, and local level across England, influencing the teams that plan care across the NHS.

There are no ethical issues raised by the proposed dissemination as only summary/aggregated level data with small numbers suppressed in line with the HES Analysis Guide will be included in the outputs and publications.

No data will be used for commercial purposes and only aggregated data will be provided to third parties (e.g. in preparing reports for publication).

The legal basis for processing personal data is performance of a task by a public organisation in the public interest (Article 6(1)e of the Data Protection Act 2018) and for processing special category data is Article 9(2)j of the same, as the purpose is scientific research.

The lawful basis for the processing.

This research is a task in the public interest and as such the lawful basis of access is article 6(1)e of the Data Protection Act 2018. The lawful basis of access to special category data is article 9(2)j given this is scientific research.

The legitimate interests for the processing (if applicable).

Not applicable.

The categories of personal data obtained (if the personal data is not obtained from the individual it relates to).

Only pseudonymised patient-level data is being used. The categories of personal data being obtained are as follows:

  • Patient characteristics (Age, sex, ethnicity)
  • Hospital records, including procedures performed and diagnoses (from admitted patient care, outpatient care, emergency department care and critical care admissions).

The recipients or categories of recipients of the personal data.

The personal data will only be accessed by named healthcare researchers working directly on the research project.

The details of transfers of the personal data to any third countries or international organisations (if applicable).

This is not applicable as data obtained will not be transferred to any third countries or international organisation.

The retention periods for the personal data.

Access to pseudonymised, record level data will be in line with the Data Sharing Agreement, which is anticipated to be 1 year in line with NHS Digital guidance. Summary outputs will be stored for 20 years following study completion.

The rights available to individuals in respect of the processing.

All opt-outs reported through the national data opt-outs service will be respected. Barts Health NHS Trust will not apply National Data Opt outs to this pseudonymised data. As data accessed by the study team will be pseudonymised, it will not be possible for the study team to provide access, rectify or erase individuals’ data, such requests should be made directly to NHS Digital. 

The right to withdraw consent (if applicable).

This is not applicable as no patient recruitment is involved. All national opt-outs will be respected where possible.

The right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority.

Individuals concerned about the use of this data should contact the Data Protection Office at Barts Health NHS Trust in the first instance.

The source of the personal data (if the personal data is not obtained from the individual it relates to).

All pseudonymised patient-level data used for the study is held by NHS Digital.

The details of whether individuals are under a statutory or contractual obligation to provide the personal data (if applicable, and if the personal data is collected from the individual it relates to).

This is not applicable as the source of the data is NHS Digital with no personal data collected directly from the individual it relates to.

The details of the existence of automated decision-making, including profiling.

No automated decision-making or profiling will be performed using this data.

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