Armed forces and families health care

Purposes for processing

The Armed forces Covenant is a promise by the Nation that those who serve or have served and their families are treated fairly. The Armed Forces Covenant is a part of the NHS Constitution. In relation to healthcare the Covenant states that the Armed Forces Community should enjoy the same standard of, and access to, healthcare as that received by any other UK citizen in the area they live and that Veterans should receive priority treatment where it relates to a condition that results from their service in the Armed Forces, subject to clinical need.

NHS England commissions secondary care for serving personnel and Armed Forces families registered with MoD GP practices.  It is also responsible for commissioning a range of services for veterans, such as those for limb loss and mental health.

Sources of the data

The information may be collected from any organisation that provides secondary health services to the NHS and the Armed Forces for serving personnel or their families, including NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts, Independent Healthcare providers, NHS and Defence GP Practices and other primary care providers and local authorities. Data may also be submitted by patients themselves and by other agencies to support the commissioning and ensure the delivery of packages of care.

Categories of personal data and recipients

NHS England uses data that has been anonymised in accordance with the Information Commissioner’s Anonymisation code of practice, and summary data (numbers) for monitoring and payment for specialised services. This data is provided to us by NHS Digital who collects and analyses personal data submitted by providers on our behalf – see Data services for commissioners. The data processed by NHS Digital includes personal details such as NHS number, date of birth, postcode, and details of the diagnosis and treatment received.

Personal data may be submitted by patients themselves and by other agencies in relation to the commissioning individual packages of care.

Legal basis for processing

For GDPR purposes NHS England’s lawful basis for processing is Article 6(1)(e) – ‘…exercise of official authority…’. For special categories (health) data the basis is Article 9(2)(h) – ‘…health or social care…’.