Concerns remain as DoH allows patients to remove data from care records

Patients in England will be able to request the removal of any part of their data on the national care record database, the DoH says.

They will also be able to ‘opt out of sharing’ the record across the NHS, it says.

The move represents a softening of the DoH stance on patients’ control over their records, but does not appear to allow patients to fully prevent their data appearing on the national database.

Health minister Lord Warner said earlier this month that patients who wanted to opt out of the record system would have to send to the DoH details of why their inclusion would cause them substantial and unwarranted distress.

He rejected attempts to opt out by a number of patients who he said had not demonstrated this adequately.

But under plans announced this week, GPs are not required to broach the subject with patients, although patients will be given a ‘defined and realistic’ period of time to review and change summary records before they are shared on the national database.

In pilots due to start in spring next year, patients who fail to check their records within the allotted time will be assumed to consent to their inclusion. They will also be able to ‘opt out of sharing, should they wish to’.

GPC negotiator Dr Richard Vautrey said this did not address some ‘chief concerns’.

‘For us to support this, the patient has to have a full right for none of their record to be uploaded at all,’ he said.

The time period to allow people to check records would have to be at least six months to a year, he added.

The DoH proposals came in response to the findings of a care records taskforce led by DoH director for Patients, Harry Cayton.

The taskforce agreed that patient records should not contain sensitive information until technology to allow it to be ‘sealed off’ by patients is available.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Under 40s to be offered alternative to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Under 40s to be offered alternative to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Patients aged 30-39 will be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19...

GPs per patient down 10% in just five years, NHS data reveal

GPs per patient down 10% in just five years, NHS data reveal

The number of fully-qualified, full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs per patient in England...

Supportive model must replace harmful CQC inspections, BMA chair warns

Supportive model must replace harmful CQC inspections, BMA chair warns

CQC inspections that ‘divert time away from patient care’ and ‘instil fear’ among...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

A 'tsunami' of work is drowning general practice: GPs speak out about a profession at its limit

A 'tsunami' of work is drowning general practice: GPs speak out about a profession at its limit

Rocketing workloads created by huge backlogs of cases and continuing COVID-19 disruption...

Slight increase in GP workforce during past year, but number of partners continues to fall

Slight increase in GP workforce during past year, but number of partners continues to fall

The GP workforce grew by 0.4% in the year to March 2021, but the number of GP partners...