Information to support research in General Practice
Towards Consensus for Best Pratice: use of patient records from general practice for research :             Click here to download this file  

'Towards Consensus for Best Practice: Use of patient records from general practice for research' report was developed during a national consensus meeting held at the Welcome Trust in 2008 with GP, researchers and patient groups. It is intended as the first step in a process to ensure that patients and GPs have confidence in the processes used to access patient information.

The guidance is based on three overarching principles:

  • The overriding importance of safeguarding patient confidentiality and privacy, and the need to clearly define the process

and procedures for the use of Data

  • The role of the GP as the patient's advocate
  • The need to ensure transparency, and to improve public awareness and understanding about the use of patient records in research.

The report, which builds on existing examples of best practice, includes guidelines on the use of anonymised, coded and identifiable data from patient records, and the use of patient records as the starting point to identify potential participants to take part in a research study.

It is primarily intended for GPs and responsible healthcare professionals, but will also be useful to researchers, patient groups, health informatics professionals and advisory bodies.