NHS Digital Data Release Register - reformatted

Office For National Statistics projects

3 data files in total were disseminated unsafely (information about files used safely is missing for TRE/"system access" projects).

COVID-19 Vaccinations Survey – Over 80s — DARS-NIC-434738-K7Z9L

Type of data: information not disclosed for TRE projects

Opt outs honoured: Yes - patient objections upheld, Identifiable, Yes (Statutory exemption to flow confidential data without consent)

Legal basis: Other - COPI Notice - Regulation 3(3) and 3(1), Other-COPI Notice - Regulation 3(3) and 3(1)

Purposes: No (Research, Agency/Public Body)

Sensitive: Non Sensitive, and Non-Sensitive

When:DSA runs 2021-02-10 — 2021-09-30 2021.01 — 2021.02.

Access method: One-Off


Sublicensing allowed: No


  1. Demographics


During the national COVID-19 - SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations programme, patients in England who are aged 80 years or over were offered a vaccination as part of cohort 2, as detailed in the JCVI Greenbook Chapter 14a.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) would like to survey a sample of persons aged 80 years or over in order to gather behavioural insight and attitude information of individuals that are likely to have been offered the vaccines, to inform public messaging around vaccinations and public health strategies.

ONS are requesting demographics data from NHS Digital to enable sampling for the COVID-19 vaccination survey. ONS do not have patient contact details. The data provided to ONS will be used to invite individuals to take part in the survey. This is a non-direct care purpose, to inform vaccination policy which is an important part of the COVID-19 pandemic response.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Survey will collect behavioural insight and attitude information of individuals that are likely to have been offered the vaccines. There is a need for timely information research in this area to inform public messaging around vaccinations and public health strategies.

Policy questions:
• Has being vaccinated, affected behaviours and adherence to guidance? For example, meeting grandchildren
• Attitudes to risk once vaccinated (control group being OPN)
• What are the reasons why a vaccine was not accepted?
• What are the characteristics of those accepting or rejecting the vaccine?

The purpose of the data collection is covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Directions 2020, 17th March 2020:
•understanding information about patient access to health services and adult social care services as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19 and the availability and capacity of those services
•monitoring and managing the response to COVID-19 by health and social care bodies and the Government including providing information to the public about COVID-19 and its effectiveness and information about capacity, medicines, equipment, supplies, services and the workforce within the health services and adult social care services
•delivering services to patients, clinicians, the health services and adult social care services workforce and the public about and in connection with COVID-19, including the provision of information, fit notes and the provision of health care and adult social care services

ONS are data controller who will also process the data. The GDPR legal bases for dissemination are Article 6(1)(c) - legal obligation by virtue of COPI notice, Article 6(1)(e) - public task (statutory function for delivery of NHS Service Pharmacy, Services, Charges and Processing) and Article 9(2)(g) - substantial public interest (plus Part 2 Sched 1 DPA18, para 6 statutory and governmental purpose).

Data items and the number of records provided have been limited to the minimum required through consultation between NHS Digital and ONS.

Expected Benefits:

ONS will provide survey results to the Department of Health and Social Care who will use the survey outputs for policy planning/vaccination planning in relation to Covid-19.

There is a significant public benefit to this research. It will provide evidence of the opinions held and the current behaviours being exhibited by those in the over 80-year-old cohort. It will provide evidence of what this cohort is thinking and experiencing in relation to the vaccine, reasons for getting vaccinated or not getting vaccinated and whether they are continuing to comply with self-isolation guidance etc.

Understanding more about this demographic will allow policies to be created to support them further in staying safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. It will enable greater understanding of the reasons held by and the characteristics of those refusing the vaccine. This will help the government to understand what factors may be preventing individuals in this age group from obtaining a vaccination, who they need to target and how to increase uptake of the vaccine. This is all for the purpose of trying to reduce the transmission of the Covid-19 virus.


The NHS Digital data will be used to send surveys to participants.


A subset of the PDS will be disseminated dependent on matching to the criteria provided by ONS. Data to be disseminated - for persons aged 80 and over only:
• Title
• First name
• Surname
• Age
• Gender
• Home address (including postcode)
• City
• Region
• Telephone number(s)

Exclusions: records with formal and informal deaths will be excluded from the sample provided to ONS.

Title, name and home address are required for the ONS to be able to send invitation letters and check that they are in contact with the correct person. Telephone number is required in order to contact the individual for the actual interview. Age is required to ensure that the individual is over 80 years of age. Gender, age and city/region are used to sort and stratify the sample to ensure that it is representative. Gender and age will also be used for weighting responses.

In order to achieve a sample of 2-3,000 and 30% response-rate, 7,000 surveys will need to be issued. To ensure the survey delivers statistically viable results ONS are preparing a suitable methodology and will advise on the number they require. To avoid strain on care staff and maximise the sample that have good levels of mental capacity care home residents will be avoided if possible. Therefore, those where residence indicates care home or age is less than 80 will be removed from the frame before sampling.

This information relates to health only by virtue of the sampled persons being called for vaccination as part of the COVID19 vaccination programme.

Data subjects may be concerned about the risks of identification or the disclosure of information. There is a low risk of the misuse of data accessed by individuals working within ONS. To mitigate the risk of data misuse, ONS will:
• Limit access to personal data to members of ONS involved in survey
• Limited personal data shared with telephone interviewers to names and contact details of participants
• Ensure all individuals with access are bound by their duty of confidentiality and have undergone relevant IG training;
• Staff contracts and mandatory training
• All data processors have GDPR compliant DPAs or equivalent contractual arrangements with the data controller
• Contract/MOU in place regarding research study
• All ONS staff are cleared through advanced vetting. Security Check (SC) level for people regularly working with sensitive data, especially in bulk through large extracts or entire data sets.
• Mandatory Hut Six training on information security.

This record level data is being disseminated to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Data will be stored and processed in the UK only. There will be no onward sharing of the data by the recipient.

ONS will need to have access to a sample extract each wave. The frequency and number of waves is to be confirmed however the cohort spec and sample size will remain the same in each wave. Data will be disseminated to ONS as soon as approval is provided. Future requirements to be confirmed and the agreement will be amended to reflect any further releases of data.