Charities argue for patient records to be used for research

Charities will today argue that patient records should be used in medical research. By Jamie Stuttard.

Photograph: JH Lancy
Photograph: JH Lancy

Harry Cayton, who took over as chairman of the government’s National Information Governance Board in November 2008, has recently criticised the use of patient-identifiable data without the consent of the patient in research.

However, many experts believe that patients’ records are beneficial in healthcare research, citing the large number of data as the main advantage. They argue that such studies could provide evidence about adverse effects of drug treatments and information about the effectiveness of interventions such as cancer screenings.

The discussion also intends to consider privacy and confidentiality issues, ahead of an NHS study, Connecting for Health’s Consultation on Additional uses of Patient Data, published around 3 March.

Speakers at the discussion include Sir Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, and Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician. Chief executive of the Association of Medical Reseach Charities Simon Denegri will also be speaking at the event, held at the Science Media Centre in London.

  • Should patient records be used for research?

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