The NHS has announced proposed changes to the way that it uses your GP patient records, which will see these patient records stored on a central database. Versions of this database (which should be anonymised) will be available to NHS organisations and shared with others working in the health sector to assist with research or service planning. This could include private sector organisations for other purposes and there are fears that it would be possible for users of the data to reverse the anonymisation, with serious implications for data privacy.
Barbara has raised concerns that this change may result in healthcare data being shared in ways which patients are not happy with. The change is being pushed through at very short notice, with no consultation or little publicity by the NHS to ensure that patients know what is happening and how they can opt out.
The lack of information on how this new system will operate and who will be able to access patient data, is highly concerning. Barbara feels that this change should not be implemented in this underhand manner.
While the use of medical data can be enormously valuable, such as when it helps identify new treatments, it should always be done in a way which respects people’s privacy and right to choose how their data is used.
If you want to opt out from this new system, you can do so by completing the below form and sending it to your GP.