Privacy Notice: Medical Research




How your information is used for medical research and to measure the quality of care

Medical Research and Woodbury Surgery

As a practice, we feel that research is essential for progress in healthcare and is of considerable benefit to individual patients and the public as a whole. We take part in
research studies with the help of experienced NHS staff who search medical records for people who might be suitable so that we can write to them asking if they are interested in taking part.

You can opt out of having your data used for purposes other than your direct care, such research studies. Patients also have the right to opt out of being contacted about research studies. Advice on how to do both of these opt outs is provided below.

If you have any questions, please ask at reception to speak with the Practice Manager

This Practice shares information from medical records:

  • To support medical research when the law allows us to do so, for example to learn more about why people get ill and what treatments might work best;
  • To complete clinical audits, which involve reviews of care delivery so that improvements to patient care can be identified and introduced.

This is important, because:

  • Information from GP medical records is very useful in developing new treatments and medicines
  • Information from medical records can help answer important questions about illnesses and disease so that improvements can be made to care and treatment.

We share information with the following medical research organisations with your explicit consent or when the law allows:

Royal Devon University NHS Foundation Trust
National Institute of Health and Care research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network

As a patient, there are two points to understand.

  1. You have the right not to have any of your identifiable data shared for research purposes. To opt out, you need to confirm your request by visiting Your Data Matter (Note: there is no associated telephone number).
  2. If you do not wish to be asked to take part in research studies related to you, your health by this practice or the region you are based within, please inform the practice.

Checking the quality of care - national clinical audits

Woodbury Surgery contributes to regional and national clinical audits so that healthcare can be checked and reviewed.

  • Information from medical records can help doctors and other healthcare workers measure and check the quality of care which is provided to you.
  • The results of the checks or audits can show where hospitals are doing well and where they need to improve.
  • The results of the checks or audits are used by the CCG and other NHS organisations to recommend and plan improvements to patient care.
  • Data are sent to NHS Digital, a national body with legal responsibilities to collect data.
  • The data will include information about you, such as your NHS Number and date of birth and information about your health which is recorded in coded form - for example the code for diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • We will only share your information for national clinical audits or checking purposes when the law allows and will never sell or share for commercial reasons.
  • For more information about national clinical audits see the Healthcare Quality Improvements Partnership, website: or telephone, 020 7997 7370.
  • You have the right to object to your identifiable information being shared for national clinical audits. Please visit the National Data Opt Out service

National Institute of Health and Care research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network

We're excited to share news of our partnership with seasoned NIHR CRN (National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network) experts, seamlessly integrated into our practice team. In the pursuit of advancing medical research, these professionals, alongside our practice team, may access your patient record for pre-consented activities. This involves identifying potential eligibility for research opportunities and supporting recruitment and follow-up for clinical trials. This process operates under the lawful bases of Article 6 (public task) and Article 9 (substantial public interest) of the GDPR. Be assured, that your privacy and data security are rigorously safeguarded. This collaboration also supports NIHR and NHS's pursuit in improving equality to access research. Any eligible individuals will be contacted by the practice, and their consent will be requested before any further processing takes place.


We are required by law to provide you with the following information about how we share your information for medical research purposes.

Data Controller contact details Woodbury Surgery
Fulford Way
Data Protection Officer contact details DELT: email
Purpose of the processing Medical research and to check the quality of care which is given to patients (this is called national clinical audit).
Lawful basis for processing

The following sections of the GDPR mean that we can use medical records for research and to check the quality of care (national clinical audits)

  • Article 6(1)(e) – ‘processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller’.

For medical research: there are two possible Article 9 conditions.

  • Article 9(2)(a) – ‘the data subject has given explicit consent…’


  • Article 9(2)(j) – ‘processing is necessary for… scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) based on Union or Member States law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and interests of the data subject’.

To check the quality of care (clinical audit):

  • Article 9(2)(h) – ‘processing is necessary for the purpose of preventative…medicine…the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services...’
Recipient or
categories of
recipients of the
processed data
This practice contributes to medical research and may send relevant anonymised information to medical research databases. However, no other
organisation can conduct clinical research on our GP records directly. When the law allows us to, the authorized databases where we may send 
your relevant, non-identifiable information include the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) and QResearch, We may in future contribute
anonymised data to other research databases with the same legal oversight and governance . Other medical research databases or systems to which practices might contribute include SAIL (Secure Anonymised Information Linkage System in Wales27) and SPIRE (Scottish Primary Care Information Resource in Scotland28).
Rights to object
and the national
data opt-out
You have a right to object under the GDPR and the right to ‘opt-out’
Woodbury Surgery is one of many organisations working in the health and care system to improve care for patients and the public.
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident and Emergency or using Community Care services, or our surgery, important information about you is collected to help ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be provided to other approved organisations, where there is a legal basis, to help with planning services, improving care provided, research into developing new treatments and preventing illness. All of these help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential personal information about your health and care is only used in this way where allowed by law and would never be used for insurance or marketing purposes without your explicit consent.
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way.
To find out more about the wider use of confidential personal information and to register your choice to opt out if you do not want your data to be
used in this way, visit NHS Your Data Matters. If you do choose to opt out you can still consent to your data being used for
specific purposes. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do
anything. You can change your choice at any time.
Right to access and correct You have the right to access your medical record and have any errors or mistakes corrected. Please speak to a member of staff. We are not aware of any circumstances in which you will have the right to delete correct information from your medical record; although you are free to obtain your own legal advice if you believe there is no lawful purpose for which we hold the information and contact us if you hold a different view.
Retention period GP medical records will be kept in line with the law and national guidance. Information on how long records are kept can be found by clicking here
Right to complain Please let us know if you are unhappy with how we have used your personal information. Details of our Complaints Procedure can be obtained from a member of the practice team. You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. If you wish to complain follow this link to the ICO website or call the helpline on 0303 123 1113