Primary Care Support England

Purposes for processing

NHS England has a contract with Primary Care Support England to provide seven services as a data processor. These are described below.

Primary Care Records

PCSE provide a service to move hard copy patient records between GP Practices. They also store records for unregistered patients and the deceased. See Patients registered with GP Practices.

Cervical Screening

The National Cervical Screening Programme aims to reduce the number of women developing cervical cancer by detecting pre-malignant changes in the uterine cervix. Women aged 25-64 years are eligible for inclusion in the National Cervical Screening Programme. Women aged 25 – 49 are called for Screening every three years, whilst women aged 50 – 65 are called every five years.

PCSE supports the National Cervical Screening Programme on behalf of NHS England by:

  • Providing Prior Notification Lists of patients eligible for screening to GP practices
  • Sending out call and recall letters to patients eligible for cervical screening tests
  • Notifying patients of test results once we receive these from laboratories

The source of the information to produce the notification lists is the list of patients registered with GP Practices that NHS Digital hold on behalf of NHS England.

GP Payments and Pensions

NHS England is responsible for paying GP Practices for their services. The payments that PCSE administer are listed below with the type of data and sources.

Payment type Data type Source
Global sum payments
  • GP Name
  • GD Code
  • Practice Code
Registration list (NHAIS)
PMS contract baseline payments
  • Practice Code
Registration list (NHAIS) and contract variation template from Regional Local Team/CCG
Drugs payments (prescribing and dispensing)
  • Practice Code
  • Partnership details / code
  • GP Names
  • GD Code
NHS Digital dependency
Childhood immunisations payments
  • Practice Code
  • GP Name
  • GD Code
Open Exeter
Seniority payments
  • Partnership details / code
  • DoB
  • Sex
  • National Code
  • GMC Number
  • Country of Birth
  • Start date
  • Registered date
  • Length of service
  • Share / salary details
Performer list/NHAIS
Ad-Hoc payment instructions (Locum/Premises/Rates)
  • Practice Code
RLT/Delegated CCG
GP trainee payments and expenses (For non-lead employer areas)
  • Registrar Name
  • Practice Code
  • GMC Number
  • Partnership Code
  • Trainer Name
  • CTP Date
Health Education England / Practices
GP training grant payments
  • Registrar Name
  • Practice Code
  • GMC Number
  • Partnership Code
  • Trainer Name
  • CTP Date
Health Education England / Practices/RLT’s for non lead employer areas
Enhanced Service payments via CQRS
  • Practice Code
Extracted from GP practice systems by NHS Digital acting under directions.
Quality and Outcomes Framework payments (aspiration)
  • Practice Code
NHS Digital direct dependency
Quality and Outcomes framework payment (achieved)
  • Practice Code
Extracted from GP practice systems by NHS Digital acting under directions.
Public Health Immunisation Schedules payments
  • Practice Code
RLT/Delegated CCG
GP retainers
  • Practice Code
HEE / Local area teams
Local Medical Committee levies-depends on contract type
  • Practice Code
  • CCG Code
LMC/NHSE

PCSE also act as the administrator for GP pensions on behalf of NHS England. The pension and its funds are managed by NHS Pensions and not PCSE. Any decisions related to the management of a pension are the responsibility of NHS Pension and / or NHS England, PCSE are only responsible for the administration element which includes processing forms / documentation and allocating funds to account.

As part of this process, PCSE may collect personal identifiable information relating to members of the pension, including name, address, date of birth, national insurance number and salary details. If you have an enquiry regarding what personal identifiable information is processed as part of the pensions administration, you may contact PCSE via the details on their website.

Pharmaceutical List – market entry applications

Pharmaceutical lists are maintained by NHS England and all market entry applications to provide Pharmaceutical Services are made to the NHS England Regional Local Team. The National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 as amended provides the regulatory framework for managing pharmaceutical lists. Applications for inclusion in a pharmaceutical list must be made by sending NHS England an application in writing in line with these regulations.

The personal data includes; full name, sex, date of birth, residential address and telephone number. For further information please refer to the Pharmacy Manual – Template Application Forms.

NHS England’s policies and procedures for managing pharmaceutical services, providers and the lists are set out in the Pharmacy Manual.

Primary Care Support England (PCSE) is responsible for administering applications to join the pharmaceutical list on behalf of NHS England.

Ophthalmic payments

Opticians send payment forms to Primary Care Support England. These include patient name, address, date of birth, whether an eye test was done, and the voucher issued. PCSE produces a statement for each optician which is sent to NHS England for payment. These statements do not contain personal data relating to patients.

Performers Lists

There are three National Performers Lists operated by NHS England – one for medical, dental and ophthalmic performers. The lists provide an extra layer of reassurance for the public that GPs, Dentists and Opticians practicing in the NHS are suitably qualified, have up to date training, have appropriate English language skills and have passed other relevant checks such as with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and the NHS Litigation Authority.

PCSE administer initial entry to the National Performers List. The decision to admit or decline an applicant to the National Performers Lists is the responsibility of NHS England. PCSE also administer changes to a performer’s status, transfers between practices (for medical performers only) and performer movement between local teams on behalf of NHS England.

As part of this process, PCSE collects personal data, as detailed via information collated on NHS England’s official national performers lists documents, please see www.performer.england.nhs.uk.  If you have an enquiry regarding what personal information is processed as part of the performers lists, please email pcse.performerlists@nhs.net.

Open Exeter

Open Exeter is a facility to enable access to the list of patients registered with GPs that is held by NHS Digital on behalf of NHS England. PCSE administer the authorisation process for access and issue access credentials. Access by organisations is approved by NHS England’s Caldicott Guardian.

Practice Mergers and Closures Notifications

PCSE are responsible for administering and updating systems when advised of GP practice closure and merger, on behalf of NHS England. This process includes transferring between/removing GP’s from practices.

As part of this process, PCSE collects personal data, as detailed on NHS England’s official NPL3 document, please see www.performer.england.nhs.uk. If you have an enquiry regarding what personal information is processed as part of the performers lists, please email pcse.performerlists@nhs.net.

Legal basis for processing

For GDPR purposes NHS England’s lawful basis for processing is Article 6(1)(e) – ‘…exercise of official authority…’. For purposes relating to GP payments and pensions the lawful basis for processing is Article 6(1)(b) – processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract.

For the processing of special categories (health) data the basis is Article 9(2)(h) – ‘…health or social care…’.