Secret NHS plan to share personal records

Secret NHS plan to share personal records

Confidential medical information could be shared among doctors, researchers and managers under plans to “override” patients’ objections, it can be revealed.

By , Deputy Political Editor, Daily Telegraph, 29 Mar 2013

Confidential medical information could be shared among doctors, researchers and managers under plans to “override” patients’ objections, it can be revealed.

Sensitive medical and personal details could be distributed widely

By , Deputy Political Editor

12:01AM GMT 29 Mar 2013 (I don’t know if I can really believe this news item – a duty of confidentiality persists after death. Does the coalition government really wish to score more own goals?) I accept there is a need for universal primary care led information systems within regions, with specialisms bolted on (ICU, Casualty, Anaesthetics, etc) but patients must be able to opt out. How would politicians like their notes in the public domain – with our salacious and vindictive media? Medical notes contain much social and psychiatric material, as well as clinical, and the opportunity to use this would be too much to resist.

A secret NHS document, seen by The Daily Telegraph, has raised fears that patient confidentiality will be watered down.

The draft code of practice for patients’ information was circulated among NHS managers earlier this month. It tells staff that they can sometimes ignore patients’ wishes over the distribution of “identifiable” records and refers to “the wide range of purposes that information is used for outside of direct care”.

The document has led to warnings that sensitive medical and personal details could be distributed widely and even passed to pharmaceutical firms, regardless of patients’ wishes.

Phil Booth, of medConfidential, a campaign group, said the draft code could usher in “the most radical downgrading of medical confidentiality the NHS has ever seen.”

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Commissioning, Community Health Councils, Patient representatives, Political Representatives and activists, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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