Anonymising data

What is anonymising data?

Anonymisation is a tool or process that allows data to be shared, whilst preserving privacy. The process of anonymising data requires that identifiers are changed in some way such as being removed, substituted, distorted, generalised or aggregated.

A person’s identity can be disclosed from:

Direct identifiers such as names, NHS number, NI number and specific address information

Indirect identifiers which, when linked with other available information, could identify someone, for example information on workplace, occupation or salary

Refernet allows System Administrators to strip the information that could be used to identify an individual. A System Administrator can set a time-frame for each agency, which will allow the full client data to remain for once a referral is opened. Once the allotted time has been reached for an open referral, the client data contained within it is anonymised.

To use the Anonymise data function, sign is as a System Administrator and visit: Preferences > Anonymise data. Anonymising data removes client details which could be used to identify individuals (attributable data). The details removed are: house name, building number, street, town, county, email address, telephone/mobile number, NHS number and National Insurance number.