Following on from recent news and social media speculation about NHS Digital and data sharing as a number of posts are circulating on social media about the national data opt-out, containing incorrect information. We thought it may be helpful to provide some key information and links to help you with your decision making and if you might be now thinking of opting out of sharing any of your data as it’s your choice.

Understanding the national data opt-out - NHS Digital

Although, sometimes information about your health and care does helps the NHS to improve your individual care, speed up diagnosis, plan your local services and research new treatments, you still have the option to decline sharing data that goes beyond the provision of your direct care.


 Have a look at our Privacy Notice which explains what we do with your data and who we share it with


 There is also a great webpage from NHS Digital with FAQs and mythbusting.…/nat…/mythbusting-social-media-posts


We do not

  • We do not sell health and care data
  • We do not share data with marketing and insurance companies

Please see the ICO webpage for more information about your rights Your data matters | ICO


If you require any further information then please do not hesitate to contact our Data Protection Officer


PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT us about COVID-19 vaccination passports. Please click the link below for information of how to get one.

COVID-19 Passport

Important information

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 Priory Surgery has taken the difficult decision to triage by telephone all routine appointments to see a nurse or doctor, to decide the most appropriate course of action.

Safety of our patients and staff is of paramount importance.


 Where possible please telephone the surgery for routine/on-going problems between the hours of

8.00am - 12.00pm

 In the event of a medically urgent problem between the hours of 8.00am and 6.30pm, please call the surgery to be booked into an urgent telephone slot





Thank you for your co-operation

Latest Information - click below to read our bulletin:

Referrals During the Covid-19 Pandemic

There have been reports in the media stating that NHS routine referrals are back up and running.

At a local level, these are being restarted at different times and it is still the case that some routine referral pathways remain closed.

We are monitoring the situation regularly. If a GP provides you with a routine NHS referral, our referrals team will only send this when it is possible and will contact you once this has been processed – this may be via text message.

May we therefore politely ask that you do not call the surgery to chase your referral. The situation is changing on an almost daily basis so please continue to bear with us through all this.

The above does not apply to suspected cancer or urgent referrals.

Understanding What’s Going On at Priory Surgery during the Covid-19 Pandemic

For further information please see our latest news pages.

Key Information – COVID 19 and Domestic Abuse

The household isolation instruction as a result of coronavirus does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse. Even during lockdown, if you are in danger in your home, please leave and seek help. Call 999 in an emergency.

There is now a freephone, 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline number

 – 0808 2000 247 – run by @RefugeCharity. You can access further support and  information at:  or via the charity Nextlink at:


Latest News

NHS DIGITAL DATA EXTRACTION- Type 1 & National Data Opt out

Your data matters to us at Priory Surgery

In a letter to all GPs, 19 July 2021, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Jo Churchill set out a new process for commencing data collection, moving away from a previously fixed date of 1 September.

  1. Your GP holds your health record, and it is used by them and other parts of the NHS for your direct care.
  2. NHS Digital also uses some of this data for research, planning, and improving the NHS for everyone.

About the General Practice Data for Planning and Research programme

NHS Digital is making improvements to how data is collected from general practice, this new framework for data extraction is called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection (GPDPR). The goal of this new system is to:

  • reduce burden on GP practices in managing access to patient data and maintain compliance with relevant data protection legislation
  • improve protections through the consistent and rigorous review of all applications for access to patient data
  • make it easier for patients to understand how their health and care data is being used, including increasing use of Trusted Secure Environments that avoids data flowing outside the NHS

This new NHS Digital service will collect data from GP practices in England and will analyse, publish statistical data and provide safe, secure, lawful and appropriate access to GP data for health and social care purposes. This will include planning, commissioning, policy development, public health purposes (including COVID-19) and research.

NHS Digital is engaging with the British Medical Association (BMA), Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the National Data Guardian (NDG) to ensure relevant safeguards are in place for patients and GP practices. 


Protecting patient data

All data will be pseudonymised and encrypted by your GP system suppliers on your behalf before it is transferred to NHS Digital. Access to GP data will only be via a Trusted Research Environment (TRE) and never copied or shipped outside the NHS secure environment, except where individuals have consented to their data being accessed, e.g. written consent for a research study.

As with the COVID-19 collection, access to the data will be through the NHS Digital Data Access Request Service (DARS) and will be subject to a robust approvals process, which includes oversight by the Independent Group Advising on Release of Data (IGARD) and a Professional Advisory Group, which is made up of representatives from the BMA and RCGP.

TYPE 1 OPT OUTS - Opting out of sharing your Data outside your GP Practice

If you don’t want your identifiable patient data to be shared for purposes except for your own care, you can opt-out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out or a National Data Opt-outor both.

These opt-outs are different and they are explained in more detail below. Your individual care will not be affected if you opt-out using either option.


We want to make the position around opt-out much simpler. While 1 September has been seen by some as a cut-off date for opt-out, after which data extraction would begin, I want to reassure you that this will not be the case and data extraction will not commence until we have met the tests.

We are introducing three changes to the opt-out system which mean that patients will be able to change their opt-out status at any time:

  • Patients do not need to register a Type 1 opt-out by 1 September to ensure their GP data will not be uploaded
  • NHS Digital will create the technical means to allow GP data that has previously been uploaded to the system via the GPDPR collection to be deleted when someone registers a Type 1 opt-out
  • The plan to retire Type 1 opt-outs will be deferred for at least 12 months while we get the new arrangements up and running, and will not be implemented without consultation with the RCGP, the BMA and the National Data Guardian

Together, these changes mean that patients can have confidence that they will have the ability to opt-in or opt-out of the system, and that the dataset will always reflect their current preference. And we will ensure it is easy for them to exercise the choice to optout.

National Data Opt-Outs (opting out of NHS Digital sharing your data)

  • NHS Digital will collect data from GP medical records about patients who have registered a National Data Opt-out. The National Data Opt-out applies to identifiable patient data about your health, which is called confidential patient information.
  • NHS Digital won’t share any confidential patient information about you – this includes GP data, or other data we hold, such as hospital data – with other organisations, unless there is an exemption to this. For example:- If we have a legal Obligation to share the data or if it is in the public interest.
  • To find out more information about this please how to register a National Data Opt-Out, please read the GP Data for Planning and Research Transparency Notice.

Data Security and Governance

The Government has committed that access to GP data will only be via a Trusted Research Environment (TRE) and never copied or shipped outside the NHS secure environment, except where individuals have consented to their data being accessed e.g. written consent for a research study. This is intended to give both GPs and patients a very high degree of confidence that their data will be safe and their privacy protected.

The TRE will be built in line with best practice developed in projects, such as OpenSAFELY and the Office for National Statistics’ Secure Research Service.

We are also committed to adopting a transparent approach, including publishing who has run what query and used which bit of data. We are developing a TRE which will meet our specific needs and act as 'best in class'.

We commit to only begin the data collection once the TRE is in place. Further, we will ensure that the BMA, RCGP and the National Data Guardian have oversight of the proposed arrangements and are satisfied with them before data upload begins.

I can also confirm that the previously published Data Provision Notice for this collection has been withdrawn.

Once the data is collected, it will only be used for the purposes of improving health and care. Patient data is not for sale and will never be for sale.

Transparency, communications and engagement

There has been a great deal of concern regarding the lack of awareness amongst the healthcare system and patients. We recognise that we need to strengthen engagement, including opportunities for non-digital engagement and communication.

Since the programme has been paused, we have been developing an engagement and communications campaign, with the goal of ensuring that the healthcare system and patients are aware and understand what is planned, and can make informed choices. The public rightly look to and trust general practice - through a centrally driven communication campaign, with clear messages, we will seek to ensure that the introduction of this collection does not impose an additional burden on practices.

We are developing a communications strategy delivered through four phases.

  • Listening - where we listen to stakeholders and gather views on how best to communicate with the profession, patients and the public and give them the opportunity to inform the development of the programme in areas such as opt-outs, trusted research environments and other significant areas
  • Consultation - a series of events where we can explain the programme, listen and capture feedback and co-design the information campaign
  • Demonstration - show how feedback is being used to develop the programme and shape communications to the healthcare system and the public
  • Delivery - of an information campaign to inform the healthcare system and the public about changes to how their GP data is used, that utilises the first three phases to ensure the campaign is accessible, has wide reach and is effective

Data saves lives. The vaccine rollout for COVID-19 could not have been achieved without patient data. The discovery that the steroid Dexamethasone could save the lives of one third of the most vulnerable patients with COVID-19 – those on ventilators - could not have been made without patient data from GP practices in England. That insight has gone on to save a million lives around the globe. That is why this programme is so important.

The programme and I will be providing further information as the programme progresses. In the meantime, if you have any questions, you can contact the programme at

The NHS Digital web pages also provide further information at

Q&A NHS Digital & Data Collections

Why NHS Digital collects general practice data?

  • NHS Digital is the national custodian for health and care data in England and has responsibility for standardising, collecting, analysing, publishing and sharing data and information from across the health and social care system, including general practice.
  • NHS Digital collected patient data from general practices using a service called the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES), now known as GPDPR which has operated for over 10 years and now needs to be replaced.
  • NHS Digital has engaged with doctors, patients, data and governance experts to design a new approach to collect data from general practice that:
    • reduces burden on GP practices
    • explains clearly how data is used
    • supports processes that manage and enable lawful access to patient data to improve health and social care

Does NHS Digital sell my Data to third parties?

The NHS shares some data, in which nobody can identify you, with trusted third parties, in order to improve the NHS for you and everyone else.

This includes with:

  • NHS planners
  • university researchers
  • scientists researching medicines

We only share data when there is a proven benefit to the NHS, and access is strictly controlled.

You data won't be shared with

  • Your data is not shared for commercial purposes
  • Your data is not shared with insurers
  • Your data is not sold

Please see our Privacy Notice for further information on how else your data might be shared by the practice.

If you want any more information, please contact our Data Protection Officer

Masks & Social Distancing to remain. Please read Latest News

Dear Patients 


Whilst restrictions are easing further on July 19th, Covid 19 Infection Prevention and Control guidance for General Practice, issued by the government, remains unchanged.  


We have many clinically vulnerable patients attending our surgery and some clinically vulnerable members of staff. As a result, in order to keep everyone safe, we will continue to require all staff, patients and visitors to wear a face covering in the surgery (unless clinically exempt) and will continue to observe social distancing. If you refuse to wear a face covering you may not be allowed access to the Surgery and the clinician you are booked in with may refuse to see you.  


We will be allowing a limited number of patients into our waiting room, and if you arrive on time you will be given the option to wait inside, space allowing. If you arrive early however, you are still likely to have a period of time where you will be asked to wait outside, so please do be mindful of the need to bring appropriate clothing.  


We will also continue to offer our service via telephone and face to face appointments. Wherever possible calls will still be triaged over the phone by a clinician, but if the clinician needs to see you, they will arrange a face to face appointment and ask you to come in, as they have been doing since the introduction of Covid infection control measures. We will shortly be publishing more detailed statistics on our website, but over the past two months 49% of all appointments at the Surgery were delivered face to face. 


We will of course continue to keep you updated of any changes. In the meantime, your continued support and understanding is very much appreciated. 


The Priory Surgery Team. 


getUbetter Recovery App

getUbetter Recovery App

The getUBetter app is provided free of charge by BNSSG CCG for patients registered at Priory Surgery. It can be accessed on a Smartphone or on the Web and guides you day-by-day through a sequence of exercises and tips to help you get better from a range of new or recurrent musculoskeletal conditions: • Lower back pain • Back and leg pain • Neck Pain • Shoulder Pain • Ankle Pain • Knee Pain • Soft Tissue Lower Limb You will be referred to the App by one of our GPs or Physio, or you can self-register by clicking on this link or the App image Please use an email address that is unique to you and select the condition you need help to manage. You will then be sent an email with all the information you need to get started. You can download the getUBetter App to your Smartphone for easiest access or use the Webapp If you develop another condition register again with the same email address, select your new condition and it will be added to your account. The app will also connect you to your local; treatment, healthcare providers or support services if needed like Physiotherapy. 

A message from Priory Surgery

It has been a long and challenging year for us all, and in common with many other Practices across the UK, we would like to say thank you, to our staff and to our patients.

Firstly, to our staff, thank you for working tirelessly, despite all the challenges thrown at you, throughout the pandemic.  You have done whatever it takes -  long shifts in PPE, covering for colleagues, seeing and treating patients with COVID,  many, many hours of overtime to deliver vaccination clinics (running total for Connexus is 24,000 vaccinations!) – the list goes on. Thank you for your dedication and incredible hard work.

To our patients, thank you for supporting and continuing to support us whilst we continue to make our best efforts to maintain our service to you. We know that access to the surgery has sometimes been challenging during this time, but we have remained open for business throughout the pandemic, assessing people using telephone, online services, video consultations, text, photos and face to face appointments when clinically indicated. Our staff are working extremely hard and will always do their best to try and help you.

We are currently seeing a big increase in demand for appointments.  We are seeing a combination of people getting back in touch with longstanding problems, a significant increase in mental health problems, ongoing symptoms from COVID, management of people who are on long hospital waiting lists.  This demand is unprecedented and affecting practices across the whole country; in March the NHS reported GP surgeries dealt with a record number of patients. And, whilst we deal with this ever increasing workload, we are continuing to vaccinate and plan for another large autumn flu campaign.  Please be kind to our staff during this busy time, and where possible do remember to utilise the sources of self-help available to you; the website offers self-help advice for minor illnesses, and we will be working to develop the self-help section of our own Priory Surgery website over the coming months.

  We are also working hard to develop our appointment system as we start to see a reduction in COVID-19 numbers, and as part of this we do want to continue to utilise the advances in digital access that have developed over the last year (and were in evolution even before the pandemic) to help us help you. In addition, the requirements of social distancing mean that we can’t currently return to a pre-pandemic way of working if we are to work in a way that is safe for our staff and for our patients. Thank you for your understanding, and your kindness over the last year and as we move through this year and the challenges that we all continue to face.

Drs Warrington, Gillings, Wigmore, Drury, Saunders and Rawling

Changes to how we work due to Coronavirus

Priory surgery remains open and we continue to provide care for people who need it. However, we are having to work differently due to Coronavirus. We are currently offering additional support to our local hospitals and care homes so that our NHS can provide life-saving care to those who need it most during this difficult time. This means that as a surgery, we need to prioritise our most urgent patients and depending on your problem, we may have to ask you to wait.

 As our patients, you can help us. Here's how:

  • Please check our website and NHS choices which both have lots of information about how to help yourself if you have a minor illness. Our website also has details of local helplines and groups you can contact for wellbeing issues.
  • You can also use the expertise of your local pharmacist - information about how your pharmacy can help.
  • Please stay on top of your medications and don't let them run out.
  • Be kind to our navigators and reception teams - they often have limited appointments to offer.
  • Please do get in touch with us if you have potentially serious problems, such as potential signs of cancer.
  • Self-isolate for 10 days if you have COVID symptoms - call 111 if you start to feel worse.
  • We will continue to offer COVID vaccinations to our patients. Please wait to be contacted rather than contacting us - we'll be in touch when it's your turn.
  • We may need to use appointments reserved for nursing appointments and/or chronic disease review to deliver COVID vaccines. If you call to book a chronic disease review you may therefore be added to a list and need to wait for one of the team to contact you to complete your review. We will do this as soon as we are able. Please also be aware that you will be called by a withheld number.
  • We may also need to cancel and reschedule your appointment at late notice to deliver COVID vaccinations - please bear with us during these times and be reassured this action will only be taken as a last resort.



This website has scientifically proven advice to reduce COVID-19 infections. It takes 10 minutes – try it out!






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