​National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS) 

'Did you know... NCAS' leaflet

The National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS) is an operating division of the NHS LA. The relevant functions of the NHS LA are set out in Directions given by the Secretary of State for Health. NCAS helps to resolve concerns about the performance of dentists, doctors and pharmacists by providing advice and support to healthcare organisations and to practitioners themselves. The aim is to work with referring bodies and practitioners to clarify concerns and make recommendations to help practitioners continue to deliver a high-quality and safe service. NCAS also operates the Healthcare Professional Alert Notices (HPAN) system.

Details of the personal information held in relation to NCAS

We may collect the following information:
 
·          Referred practitioners and self-referring practitioner - name, gender, professional registration number, post/grade, specialty, length of time in post, contract type, age group, ethnic group, disability status, place of first professional qualification (UK, EEA or Outside EEA), number of years worked in the UK, details of the performance concerns and the local management of your case (including investigation reports).
·          Assessed practitioners - (in addition to the above) contact details, qualifications, employment status, additional posts, work experience, scope of practice, workload, information about your health, job plan, timetable, continuing professional development activities, clinical governance activities, and equality and diversity details.
·          Practitioners participating in mediation - personal statements, mediation agreements.    
·          Patients - details about your care, information about a compliment or complaint made by you in relation to a referred practitioner. (This information will often be anonymised or pseudonymised, and it is our normal practice to seek your prior written consent, or the agreement of a parent/guardian, to participation in any assessment activity.)     
·          Colleagues - details about your involvement in a case, your peer multi-source feedback about an assessed practitioner (including name, professional registration number, gender, grade, length of working relationship, and, in the cases of nurses and allied health professionals, length of time since qualification).
·          Suspended/Excluded practitioners - start and end dates of suspensions or exclusions of individual practitioners from work, and, thereby, information as to the duration of episodes.
·          Healthcare professionals who are subject to a Healthcare Professionals Alert Notice - the request for the alert notice (including full name and last known address, national insurance number, (where applicable) professional body registration number, the gender and ethnic origin if the individual, a description of the capacity in which the individual was employed or engaged to provide services and in which it is thought possible they might seek work in the NHS. The reason for the request must include a summary of all relevant information about the individual which supports the request, an assessment of the relevant risks, any advice taken and any action already taken in respect of the individual concerned, including any referral to the regulatory body.
·          Referrer - name, work address, contact details and information that you tell us about your management of the case.

Use of this information

 
We use this information for the following purposes:
 
·          advising and supporting healthcare organisations where there is concern about the performance of a dentist, doctor or pharmacist;
·          monitoring the diversity of individuals referred to us (as required by the Secretary of State);
·          dealing with individual practitioners who are the focus of concerns, including, where applicable, producing an assessment report, and, where possible, agreeing a subsequent action plan;
·          facilitating the carrying out of a review of the functioning of a clinical team;
·          monitoring suspensions and exclusions of dentists, doctors and some pharmacists from work by the NHS within England;
·          issuing alert notices in relation to healthcare professionals and maintaining the HPAN system. 
 
We also use information held by NCAS for the purposes of internal training and the auditing of our casework.
 

Sharing of this information

 
We may share information with third parties (such as the police, NHS Protect, the Department of Health or other government departments, regulatory or other public authorities) to comply with legal obligations or where this is otherwise necessary and it is lawful to do so (including disclosures made to protect patient safety or to enhance public protection).
 

Additional use of this information

 
We do compile and publish research and statistics relating to the work of NCAS, although this is in the form of anonymised or aggregated data.