National Obesity Audit – Data Provision Notice

The National Obesity Audit will support NHS England in meeting the requirements of implementing The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, which commits significant resource to ease the burden of obesity. Nearly two-thirds of adults in England are overweight or obese. In 2016/17, 617,000 admissions to NHS hospitals recorded obesity as a primary or secondary diagnosis.

The data, as specified by the DPN, supports the NHS Obesity Audit from NHS England. Organisations that are in scope of the notice are legally required to comply.

General Practices will be sent an invitation to participate via the Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS). This invitation must be accepted as there is a Direction in place for this data collection and it is a legal requirement for General Practices to provide this data under section 259(1)(a). All General Practices are therefore mandated to comply with this invitation and approve the collection. GPs will have to participate in both the CVDP and the NOA participation in order for the data to be used for NOA.

As NHS England is re-using personal data from General Practices through this collection, General Practices have a legal duty to be transparent and to provide patients with transparency information under UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) about the data they are sharing with NHS England.

Therefore, General Practices need to update their own Transparency Notices on their websites to include details of this collection. NHS England has produced a NOA Transparency Notice which GPs can use to do this.

About the collection

The NOA will use the same data that is extracted for the Cardiovascular Prevent Audit under the existing collection timescales. The NOA will only re-use appropriate obesity related data as per the data specification for the NOA.

The cohort that will be used as the denominator for all indicators is listed below:

  • CVD P cohorts

For each patient above, NHS England will require the following personal data, as well as the General Practice that individuals are registered with:

  • NHS Number
  • date of birth
  • sex

You are receiving this communication because you are listed as the main contact by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for Primary Medical Services. If you need to amend these details, please contact the CQC directly.


Background: More than one in four adults are currently living with obesity. We know obesity puts people at greater risk of many serious diseases and increases their chances of associated comorbidities e.g., cancers, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes.

What is the National Obesity Audit? NHS England has established a National Obesity Audit (NOA) to bring together comparable data from the different types of weight management services across England. For the NOA to be successful, linking to primary care patient level data is a critical part of the project to enable analysis of longitudinal weight change, to inform improvement aims.

How will the NOA benefit patients? By linking to GP patient level data with weight management service data, the NOA will provide information across the weight management pathway to support quality improvements to patient care. For example, equity of access, improving outcomes of weight management services, reducing obesity related comorbidities, and improving population health.

Why are we using CVDPREVENT data for the NOA? The NOA will re-use certain information from the existing CVDPREVENT General Practice Extraction Service data flow for new NOA analysis and reporting purposes (see ‘NOA Dataset Specification’ link below for further details). NHS England has explored several ways in which the NOA could link with patient level data. The data collected within the CVDPREVENT audit has natural alignment as it already much of the data required for the NOA.

How will this approach benefit general practice? By utilising CVDPREVENT data, the creation of a new data collection can be avoided, which in turn reduces additional burden to colleagues in primary care. Whilst CVDPREVENT will give us limited data about a certain cohort of people with / high risk of CVD, it will provide important initial understanding that can be built upon later.

What is the additional ‘burden’ to general practice? A burden analysis has been conducted to identify any additional workload and costs to practices of opting in. This identified that it would take each practice 4 minutes to log on to the system and tick a box to opt in (a cost of £1.89 per practice, which is equal to a total one-off cost for all practices of circa £12K).

How can general practice help? Users will be are being asked to to log in to CQRS and tick the relevant box on the participation page.

Further information

General information about the National Obesity Audit
Latest publication of the National Obesity Audit dashboard
NOA Dataset Specification

For further enquiries regarding the NOA please email: [email protected]