Worried about your GP’s data?
Did you know about a new national scheme called care.data?
Care.data is about the sharing of information regarding patients, and the care they have received. Data will be extracted and stored on a secure system by healthcare staff to support patient treatment and care.
The purpose of this scheme is to help the NHS, who can then use this information to plan and improve services for all patients. Information will be linked from all the different places that a patient receives care, such as from a GP, hospital and community service, to help provide a full picture. This will allow the NHS to compare the care received in one area against the care received in another, so they can see what has worked best.
Information such as your postcode and NHS number will be used to link your records in a secure system, so your identity is protected. Information which does not reveal your identity can then be used by others, such as researchers and those planning health services.
Reassurances have been provided by the NHS that the ways in which patient information will be used and shared is controlled by law, and strict rules are in place to protect patient privacy.
However, Healthwatch Kirklees has been alerted to some local concerns about the introduction of this programme. There appears to be a lack of a wide and far reaching publicity campaign to enable patients to make an informed choice, and opt out if they so wish.
There has also been significant national concern about the lack of patient awareness. If you have any questions about care.data, please speak to your GP practice, or contact us to feedback your views.