The National Vascular Database (NVD) and Carotid Endarterectomy Interventions audit were designed to collect only limited patient identifiers. The NHS number was only collected for repairs of abdominal aortic aneurysms, and the NVD had approval from the Ethics and Confidentiality Committee (now called the Confidentiality Advisory Group) to collect this information without asking patients for consent.
The National Vascular Registry (NVR) makes more use of patient identifiers. This includes: the NHS number, date of birth and postcode. By doing so, it ensures that information on patients is not entered twice, and it allows the NVR to link to other data sources. This reduces the burden of data collection. It will also allow us to link to the Office for National Statistics Death Register, to ensure complete follow-up.
Because we are collecting patient identifiers, it is necessary for clinicians to ask patients for their consent to submit their patient identifiable data to the National Vascular Registry. This is required for all patients who undergo an elective vascular procedure.
It is not necessary to ask patients for consent if the patient has an emergency procedure, given its urgency. The NVR has approval from the Confidentiality Advisory Group under Section 251 of the Data Protection Act 1998 to collect identifiable data from these patients without consent.
The NVR have prepared a patient information leaflet and consent form for patients who have one of the five vascular procedures that are covered by the Registry. Please ensure that all patients undergoing elective procedures are given the information leaflet and are asked for their consent to have their identifiers submitted onto the NVR IT system.