Access software breaches confidentiality

GPs in England could face legal action if they use DoH software to identify patients to receive the access survey, IT experts fear.

The Apollo software trawls GP records for recent referrals to secondary care, so patients can be asked to complete the survey that governs pay under the directed enhanced service on access.

Patients are targeted because the survey asks if they remember being offered a choice of hospitals at the time of referral.
GPs fear the software could breach data protection laws, and practices have reported the software extracts data without waiting for staff to select an option.

They fear patients may object to being approached for a survey because of a recent referral, because they have not consented to their record being used.
Joint RCGP/GPC IT committee chairman Dr Paul Cundy said his practice would not be installing the software.

Dr Cundy said the DoH had confirmed that practices could fulfil DES requirements by choosing to have patients contacted via data held on the Exeter system instead.

However, Dr Peter Williams from the Bakewell Surgery in  Derbyshire said his patients were signing statements saying they did not want their data uploaded by Apollo. He said practices could mark opt-outs with the Read code 9Nd1. Connecting for Health was unable to comment.
Last week, the GPC told practices in England to consider dropping the DES, worth £12,000 to an average practice, after a dispute with the DoH.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

The original Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

First COVID-19 vaccine to target Omicron variant approved for use in UK

The MHRA has approved an updated version of the Moderna vaccine that targets both...

Ballot box

Majority of GPs back taking industrial action in the coming year, poll suggests

The majority of GPs support taking industrial action in the coming 12 months to push...

RCGP sign

NHS winter plan does not provide enough support for GPs, warns RCGP

NHS England's winter plan does not include enough measures to support general practice...

NHS sign

Plans to recruit 1,000 new link workers to support GP practices this winter

NHS England has set out plans to recruit an additional 1,000 social prescribing link...

BMA House

BMA prepares to ballot junior doctors on industrial action

Junior doctors will be balloted over industrial action if the government does not...

Typing on a laptop

NHS 111 systems could be offline until next week following cyber attack

NHS 111 systems could be offline until next week following the cyber attack on a...