Our protocol outlines our intention to use the patient-identifiable variables of age, gender and patient identification number. Age of the patient is essential to meaningful interpretation of data. We believe this poses less risk of inadvertent patient identification than collecting date of birth. Gender is an essential prerequisite for meaningful analysis of our data and carries negligible risk of inadvertent patient identification. Patient identification numbers are necessary for local data collectors to be able to accurately identify patients on their dataset (for example, to add new information to that patient’s details). See the technical details FAQs for assurance of data security.
In the UK, the processing of this patient-identifiable data is lawful according to the Data Protection Act (1998) as it meets the following Schedule 2 condition: (6) “legitimate interests pursued by the Data Controller or the third party” and the following Schedule 3 condition: (8), “processing is necessary for “medical purposes…includes the purposes of medical research…”.