GP Data Half A Million Children Wales

The Welsh government wants GPs to hand over the name, address, date of birth and gender of nearly half a million* children. Every year individual GP practices will have to give the local authority a list of all school-age children registered at their surgery. To achieve this, the Welsh government will bring section 29 of the Children Act 2004 into force and will make new regulations specifically requiring General Medical Contractors to disclose children’s data. This consultation CLOSED on 25.4.24.

98% Not Going On Database

From these GP lists local authorities will create a database of children “potentially missing education” but “missing education” has a special meaning here. A child registered at a school cannot be “missing education” regardless of whether their attendance is 100% or 0%. Hence no school child will go on the database. 98% of the children on GP lists will be registered at a school so 98% of the data disclosed is not necessary for the database.

GP Statistics

The figure of half a million* has been derived from October 2023 GP statistics published by the Welsh government which can be viewed here and which supplies numbers for individual named GP surgeries.

The national tables show 176,649 5-9 year olds + 190,569 10-14 year olds + 186,118 15-19 year olds. As the list is for school-age children, 0-4 have not been included in the total, and only 40% of 15-19 year olds. The adjusted school-age total is 441,665 ie nearly half a million*.

School Numbers

The figures show that there may be more children registered at school than registered with a GP, since the latest school numbers are 479,712. The latest number of home educated children collected by the Welsh government is 5,330.

Public Consultation

There is a consultation on the proposed data sharing which closes on April 25th 2024. It includes a number of questions directed at GPs. The link for the consultation is here The requirement for GPs to disclose data appears in regulation 4 of the Children Missing Education Database Regulations, read more here

What Does GMC Think

Read my comments on the General Medical Council consultation response here [23.5.24]

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