East Sussex GPPASS

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) Public Health has been working on the roll out of a centralised electronic process to support GP practices to report activity in respect of their locally commissioned Public Health services. GPPASS (GP Payment and Audit System Searches) is the term used to describe this new service and the new process of centralised electronic reporting for Public Health services commissioned through primary care. Public Health (PH) have developed clinical system searches for the reporting of practice payment and audit data for their commissioned services. This method of reporting will be centrally administered by PH and will only include practices who have signed up to deliver NHS Health Check and Sexual Health commissioned services, and will only ever report anonymised data.

Who is affected?

All East Sussex GP practices who provide HNS Health Check and/or Sexual Health commissioned services for Public Health.

Why is East Sussex County Council introducing this process?

It has become apparent that the current system of self-reporting/claiming is not effective at providing consistent results across the county. As the information provided on quarterly claim forms is used to report activity of our locally commissioned services nationally as well as calculate practice payments; accuracy and consistency are vital. Providing a standardised centrally run process will ensure that we are collecting reliable, accurate data and ensure fairness in the payments that our providers receive.

What is the benefit of this type of reporting to your GP practice?

Providing a centralised and anonymised reporting service across East Sussex practices should help ease the burden on practices required to provide activity data to PH in relation to their Public Health Local Service Agreements (PHLSA). It will also help to improve the quality and timeliness of reports and payments to practices.

To support this ESCC have developed practice templates and searches which will help you record and report your clinical activity for both NHS Health Check and Sexual Health commissioned services.

Some of the key benefits are as follows:

  • Centrally run by Public Health – each quarter PH will run the payment and audit reports to collect anonymised data for PH commissioned services. This will help eliminate time spent by the practices trawling through patient records to produce quarterly payment and audit activity, and then manually submit this to PH.
  • Fully compatible with the practice’s clinical system - ESCC have purchased EMIS and SystmOne software which allows them to write searches in order to report anonymised There is no cost to the practice. The reports will be run from PH’s version of the software and will not affect the practices system or require the practice to learn any new software.
  • The reporting of anonymised and aggregated data will only be for those practices that have signed and activated their data sharing agreement - no patient identifiable data will be visible on the ESCC version of the clinical software (which is fully compliant with IG and GDPR requirements).
  • Reporting will be for payment and audit purposes only – and only for those PHLSAs the practice has signed up to and for only the data fields specified in the
  • Access controlled by the practice - once a practice has activated a data sharing agreement (DSA) the practice will retain control of this and can withdraw approval should they no longer wish to participate in the commissioned service. If the DSA is deactivated PH will no longer be able to run reports on the practice’s data. There is complete transparency in the use and access of the system and practices will be able to view the searches in advance of them being run by PH.
  • Practices will be informed before any reports are run – practices will always receive an email communication a week before the quarterly payment reports are run by the GPPASS service, to remind practices that the payment or audit searches are about to be run.
  • Practices can run PID versions of these reports – Patient Identifiable Data versions of these same reports can be run by practices on their own clinical system to help them with their internal clinical audit.

NB ESCC will never have any access to this information as they are only ever able to view anonymised reports, PID reports will purely be for practice use and only ever viewable by the practice.

  • Rollout of this new process will be gradual - moving from the current manual claim form to the use of GPPASS will be done in a staged manner. This will begin from Q3 2019/20 and will give practices approximately 6 months (2 financial quarters) where they should continue to submit payment data manually (as they had previously done). During this period practices can review data in these new searches and reports and adapt any current clinical processes etc. in readiness for the switch over to electronic reporting. PH will provide you with support and guidance to help with this process during this GPPASS is expected to go live from Q1 2020/21 when all payments will be made from the data contained within the electronic payment reports run by PH.
  • Assured payment for eligible activity - using the pre written templates should ensure consistent and accurate data is recorded on the patient record in line with the contractual requirements as detailed in the PHLSA. The pre written searches will help ease the challenges placed on practices in searching for the data each quarter and submitting manual claim returns to PH. Using both the templates and the searches will ensure all eligible PHLSA activity is captured on the patient record and paid for via the centralised reporting.

We have been reporting to you for a long time on paper.

What if there are any discrepancies between what we have reported in the past and the new electronic reports?

It would not be appropriate to pursue debts arising from a system that was unable to produce accurate data and that ESCC and Partners should adopt a more reasonable approach to historic under/over claims and only pursue any sums owing or owed as far back as April 2019 and no further.

ESCC believes this to be a pragmatic, responsible and equitable approach.

If I give Public Health permission to run searches on my data what is to stop them from running any searches on my practice data at any time?

This new GPPASS services will only be for those practices participating in PHLSAs. As a co signatory to that contract, ESCC will be contractually obliged to only run searches:

  • that are part of the quarterly payment and annual audit run
  • only on the data sets that have been specified in the contract
  • only for those requirements that have been specified in the contract e. for quarterly payment and audit purposes, and
  • only on practices data if they have signed the PHLSA and activated their

We will notify practices one week in advance of each quarterly payment run, so they aware of the date the searches will be run.

Will GPPASS be able to write and run searches for me that are not part of the PHLSA audit and payment run?

No. The current GPPASS DSA between ESCC Public Health and East Sussex GP practices only covers the sharing of information in relation to the contracted commissioned services i.e. those PHLSAs that expressly state that GPPASS is to be used for payment and audit purposes, and which have been signed up to by the practice. Under this agreement we cannot run searches on any other datasets or for any other purpose than those stated in the PHLSA. If we were to search on other datasets or for another purpose, then this would require a new DSA be put in place for those purposes.

However, some practices have asked if we would run the current set of PHLSA payment and audit searches monthly to help them review activity leading up to the official quarterly payment run. GPPASS can accommodate these requests for those practices who explicitly request this. However, GPPASS will only ever extract payment and audit data at the end of each quarter once GPPASS goes live, from April 2020.

Have Public Health carried out a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) on GPPASS?

Public Health has carried out a DPIA on the new GPPASS process. This has been reviewed by Trudy Slade (GP IG and DPO for GP practices within the Sussex and East Surrey Alliance) who asked that Public Health share this with practices to provide them with the assurance they would need to sign the GPPASS data sharing agreement within the clinical system. A copy of the DPIA was sent to practices on 4th November 2019 and can also be downloaded from the GPPASS.

What do I need to do right now and what is ESCC doing?

  • ESCC PH is letting you know now what is planned and how we can help you get ready for the go-live (which commences 1st April 2020).
  • You need to be aware that this change to reporting of PHLSA data is planned and to ready yourself for the change. We are here to help you with this (please email if you need any help or have any questions).
  • Sign the Data Sharing Agreement within your clinical system so that you can access the functionality of these searches and the new method of Instructions on how to do this are available here for EMIS and SystmOne.
  • Make sure your practice has the most recent versions by checking it against the version we have published on the website. Ensure you archive any older versions of the templates, so they do not get used accidentally within the practice. Notifications will be sent out when updates are released – it is important that the most recent versions are being used to ensure correct payment. SystmOne practices will be able to locate the templates directly within SystmOne once they have agreed to the data sharing agreement and joined the East Sussex Public Health Group. They are located within the New Template Maintenance section in a folder called “ESCC Public Health Templates”.
  • Between now and 31st March 2020, we are encouraging practices to start using the new templates and to review the payment and audit searches we have written for NHS Health Checks and Sexual Health Any questions or queries then email: and we will help you with any issues you have.
  • If you would like GPPASS to run these new payment and audit reports for your practice before the official go live date (so they can be compared to the quarterly submission) then please email and we will add your practice to the next monthly run. We can then work with the practice to help identify why there are differences between the GPPASS reports and the practice data.
  • Further information will be made available on the Public Health website.

I Have Further Questions. Who Should I Talk To?