Clinical data secure in Choose and Book

Connecting for Health has assured GPs that patients' clinical details are secure on the Choose and Book system after fears that referral information could be accessed by staff at other practices.

However, GP leaders remain concerned that demographic details are available to staff at practices other than where a patient is registered.

The concerns were raised by Nottinghamshire GP Dr Kesten Challen.

Dr Mark Davies, medical director primary care for Choose and Book, said that the system had been checked and that clinical information including referral letters and appointment details could only be accessed by a 'referring or registered practice'.

However, Dr Davis said that access to demographic data such as addresses and dates of birth were governed by different rules. This data could be accessed by any accredited person with a smartcard and passcode, including staff at other practices.

Dr Davis stressed that staff training would emphasise the importance of only accessing necessary information.

GPC IT subcommittee chairman Dr Paul Cundy was concerned that it was possible to access data from a patient not registered at your own practice.

'No one not in a patient's registered practice should have access to their data,' he said.

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