NEWS UPDATE MAY 2014 : Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information, says a Care.Data Advisory Group has been created to make sure records are safely collected and stored. Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support and a non-executive director of NHS England will chair the group. Other members of the group include staff from BMA, the Royal College of General Practitioners, Healthwatch, voluntary organisations and medical professionals. In Autumn, there will be a trial involving 100 to 500 GP practices to see if the data collection goes smoothly. See the full press release here.
NEWS UPDATE FEBRUARY 2014 : Healthwatch has asked for the data collection process to be delayed while patient worries are sorted out. BBC News has confirmed the delay: data will not be collected for 6 months.
NHS England will soon start collecting GP medical records about patient care. The information will be taken from GP surgeries and added to information database.
Why? To improve patient care. The data will show patient illness, treatments and experiences. It will help the NHS to provide better services.
Who is involved? The NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) will collect and store the data.
Who sees the data? Now, organisations within the NHS (for example, commissioning bodies) can see the data. In the future, pharmaceutical companies, universities, hospital trusts and health charities may be able to see the data.
Why weren’t we told? We were told, but the information wasn’t clear. In January, 26.5 million households were told they would receive an information leaflet explaining the changes, but research says only 29% of adults remember getting the leaflet.
45% of adults are not aware of the new changes.
What did the leaflet look like? The leaflet was titled ‘Better information means better care’ and you can see the leaflet online: Better information means better care
Will hospital data be collected? Hospital data is already collected. It has been collected for decades.
Will patient data be private? Yes, there are safeguarding policies to protect patient’s privacy.
Can people choose not to be involved in the scheme? Yes. There are two ways to do this:
1) Talk to your GP – if you don’t want to make an appointment, you can email them or write them a letter
2) Go online and visit medconfidential.org.
Image Credit: Theen Moy