The Emis National User Group has created an alternative information campaign for practices to advertise the controversial GP extract programme

The programme will take a new monthly dataset from practices via the GP Extraction Service covering patient demographics, events, referrals and prescriptions.

An official publicity campaign on the new service, run by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, began in 1% of practices in June with extractions due to being soon.

However, the Emis NUG website says the official posters fail to make clear the implications of the programme.

“It doesn’t mention or the fundamental change to the confidential nature of the doctor patient relationship which will occur for every patient unless they opt out,” the NUG website says.

It adds that if practices do not make the public aware that their data is being used in this way, they could face a legal challenge from patients.

While the HSCIC posters focus on how patient data can help in research and improve the way care is delivered, the NUG poster is much more direct and explicit about what means for patients.

“Your GP will soon be required to supply your personal and confidential medical information to the HSCIC and NHS England,” the new poster says.

“The practice has NO choice but to allow them to extract this information.

“However, individual patients can instruct their practice to stop the transfer of their data.”

Alternative patient leaflets and booklets are titled: ‘Your personal information in someone else’s hands’.

The NUG advice says practices must ensure that staff are informed of and the correct read code should patients choose to opt out.

A ‘deed of undertaking’ is also needed between a practice and Emis before extractions can begin.

This deed is being drafted by the BMA GP Committee in discussion with the HSCIC, the RCGP, Medical Defence Union, MPS and BMA lawyers.

NHS England’s business plan, Putting Patients First, set a target for 75% of GP practices to be providing a full extract to by September 2013.

However, the HSCIC’s clinical and public assurance director Dr Mark Davies only confirmed it is going live “this year”.

“We understand the sensitivities of it and don’t want to rush it, but learn lessons of how we get it implemented,” he told EHI Primary Care.

A statement from the Information Commissioner’s Office says it is due to have further talks with those involved in

“We have made it clear that it is the fair processing we are most concerned about in making sure that the messages are clear, can be easily understood and that if an ‘opt-out’ scheme is offered it is simple to initiate,” an ICO statement says.

The Emis NUG is an independent charity.