Fair processing is a key principle of data protection law in the UK and requires data controllers to provide clear and transparent information to individuals, describing how their data is being processed. The most common way to provide this is through a Fair Processing Notice (FPN). However, the ICO recommends using a blended approach which compliments the FPN with a wider array of communications, which should be planned and documented in a clear engagement strategy.

Data controllers are required to have fair processing notices, however an integrated care system will likely contain several controllers. In order to maintain consistent and system-wide transparency, care systems may wish to consider a single FPN, which can be linked to from the individual notices of each data controller within them. However, it is important to note that data processing to support secondary uses for a care system must be articulated in each of your Data Controller’s FPNs to the extent that meets the requirements outlined in the ICO’s Privacy Code of Practice. To simplify this task, you may wish to develop a central FPN for your care system and either replicate or link to it within each Data Controller’s FPN.


Further information about fair processing and transparency can be accessed at:

While meeting the minimum legal requirements, your FPN alone will not be sufficient to describe how your care system is addressing fair and transparent processing. You should develop a robust strategy for engaging with patient and the public throughout your care system’s development into its launch and day-to-day operations, which should have a specific focus on explaining how their data will be processed.

Providing accessible and clear fair processing information is a key requirement under GPDR and the Data Protection Act 2018. You should also be prepared to produce your fair processing information for review when requesting data access from various sources.


You should now determine and record:

  • your care system's approach to maintaining and managing a network of FPNs across your component organisations, confirming that all FPNs meet the minimum requirements outlined by the ICO
  • any required changes to existing FPNs associated with data sources that are used primarily for individual care (e.g. LHCREs) to ensure data subjects are aware their data may be used in a de-identified format for secondary purposes
  • your care system's approach to wider engagement and transparency with data subjects 

This information can be recorded in the SUDGT input tool.




  • FPNs should form part of care systems’ wider strategy for ensuring patients and the public are engaged throughout a care system’s setup and throughout its operation, and should inform data subjects:

    • What information is being collected?
    • Who is collecting it?
    • How is it collected?
    • Why is it being collected?
    • How will it be used?
    • Who will it be shared with and how will others use it?
    • What will be the effect of this on the individuals concerned?
    • Is the intended use likely to cause individuals to object or complain?
  • If you intend to extract data from a source that support individual care (e.g. LHCRE), you muse ensure that local fair processing and transparency information clearly describes to data subjects that the data may be de-identified and used for secondary purposesdata may be de-identified and used for secondary purposes


Example of typical fair processing information that can be embedded in wider messages to the public about integrated care:

What does working as a system mean for you and your family?

Connecting services together - Currently more people are admitted to hospital than necessary, who then stay in hospital longer than they need to, because not enough services are provided in the community. Connecting local care and voluntary services together helps keep people healthy and supported at home for longer.

People may receive care in their own home or the town where they live, rather than having to travel to their GP surgery or a larger hospital. Patients may be treated by a physiotherapist, a counsellor, a paramedic or any of a wide range of appropriate professionals. Different organisations working together means people get the right care more quickly and easily.

We’re supporting people to stay well - Linking people to activities in their community that will help their wellbeing; using pharmacies to help people self-care; providing people with ways to help them live well with mental illness and long term conditions.

We’re enhancing local care teams – GPs are working with other care providers and sharing skills and resources, ensuring people only need to tell their story once. We’re extending access to same-day care in the community; identifying those at most risk and giving direct support. Helping people across all aspects of their well-being, not just their health issues.

We’re improving local access to the right expertise and care – We want patients with complex needs to have better access to specialists located at community facilities delivering high quality local care, freeing up on our hospitals for those who really need them.

We’re creating local community services - Helping people avoid going to hospital unnecessarily; exploring new ways to treat people with minor injuries out of hospital, and identifying people already in hospital who can be safely discharged.

We’ve created a shared care record – Ensuring that wherever a person is seen, different health and care professionals can access their clinical information to provide continuous support in managing their health.

We’re creating tools to analyse data – from the shared care record we take anonymous data to help us plan and develop services across the care system.