Data records held by the National Health Application Infrastructure Service (NHAIS) are updated electronically on each occasion whenever a business event occurs that requires data to be updated. Nationally, approximately 60,000 patient demographic changes including new registrations, amendments and deductions are made on the NHAIS patient database each working day. Examples include when a patient advises his or her general practitioner practice of a change of home address or change of name following marriage or divorce; or when the NHS Central Register advises NHAIS of the death of a patient following the death being formally recorded by a registrar of births, marriages and deaths.
Available information relates only to surveys that have been commissioned directly by the Department. Information is not held centrally about surveys or consultations by primary care trusts (PCTs) or national health service shared services agencies using locally held data.
Surveys conducted on that basis were:
the national PCT survey (2003-04 to 2007-08 inclusive);
the national patient experience survey (2006-07 and 2007-08);
the general practitioner patient survey (2006-07 and 2007-08);
Yorkshire and Humber adult dental survey (2007-08); and
no consultations were conducted on that basis in the years concerned.
Primary care trusts (PCTs) are legally required to maintain a register of patients registered with a general practitioner's (GP's) practice according to the patient's registered address. This legal requirement for a register is met by the National Health Application Infrastructure Service (NHAIS) patient database.
Most GP practices have a computer system that is linked to local NHAIS systems. Each new patient registration, and all patient demographic changes, are recorded by practice staff, and these changes are notified electronically to the relevant local NHAIS system in order to maintain the patient registers. Non-computerised practices support the maintenance of the NHAIS systems by the provision of paper-based forms.
NHAIS systems also receive data about patient deaths, patients moving permanently to reside overseas, people moving into the armed services, and removals from the NHS Central Register which is operated by the Information Centre for health and social care.