NHSBSA - Freedom of Information

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Previous Request List - Detail

Request Reference: 8384 Request Date: 19 Mar 2019
Request: Hello, Pharmacies are required to submit quarterly template returns to NHSBSA regarding their activity for the MUR and NMS services, using the templates on https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/pharmacies-gp-practices-and-appliance-contractors/dispensing-contractors-information/medicines-use I was wondering if it would be possible to request this information as a single spreadsheet, or as a series of spreadsheets for each quarter that the information is available, showing all of the responses for each affected pharmacy by ODS/OCS code. Thanks and kind regards, [Name Redacted][On 12 April 2019 you clarified the following:] ‘Thank you very much for your reply. Whilst I can understand that some of these fields for some pharmacies will have low numbers and therefore represent a small number of patients, I wholeheartedly feel that there is no risk of any individual patients being identified. As you mentioned, there already exists the monthly publications of MUR and NMS (etc) data from the NHSBSA website - we do subscribe to and process this data, and there are entries in this data for pharmacies that have completed less than 5 MURs/NMS within a month, and I feel that this is published as-is because there is no viable way to identify those specific patients purely from that information. With the additional fields in this requested dataset, I don''''''''t feel that any of them are specific enough to identify patients; the most specific grouping (in my opinion) is which category of medicine the patient is taking, and even these represent broad groups of dozens of commonly-prescribed medicines. Previously, we have requested some information on medicines dispensed by community pharmacies, and some of this was rescinded where a specific medicine was only being dispensed to a handful of patients across the country. I can appreciate the reason for this, where it could be inferred who the patient was based on them taking a rare medication, but in this MUR and NMS data, I truly don''''''''t think it would be possible to identify any patient from any of these fields. If you still feel that the information may identify patients when used in conjunction with other information, such as where a number of patients in a month from a certain pharmacies have been referred back to the GP, then please remove such fields (although that would still be useful information). I sincerely hope you will consider my request to release the information as-is, to allow us to compare how the MUR and NMS services are provisioned down to the pharmacy level.’

Status: Complete
Response Date: 13 May 2019
Response: Please see attached response