NHS opt-out of scheme just weeks away

Patients have less than a month to opt-out of scheme

NHS in England just weeks away from sharing patient medical records with third parties.

The medical records and data of up to 55 million patients of GP practices in England will be shared with third parties from July 1 this year.

Information on immunisations, sexual orientation, mental and sexual health and other personal details is being collected for sharing.

Patients have until June 23 to opt-out of having their data shared by filling in a form and taking it to their GPs, says NHS Digital.

A “transparency notice” on the NHS Digital website, updated on May 26, reads: “This additional Transparency Notice provides details about the personal information that GP practices are sharing with us under our General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection.

“We use the term patient data to refer to personal information in the rest of this notice.”

GP Online

Campaign groups have raised “serious concerns” about the project and digital rights advocates Foxglove have questioned the lawfulness of the plans under current data protection laws.

Foxglove is reportedly threatening legal action and has issued a legal letter to the Department of Health and Social Care in which solicitor Rosa Curling says “very few members of the public will be aware that the new processing is imminent, directly affecting their personal medical data”.

Cori Crider, co-founder of Foxglove, said the NHS had been “completely silent” on who would have access to the data, reports the Financial Times.

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