NHS: Patient Data

House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of Lord Willis of Knaresborough Lord Willis of Knaresborough Chair, Science and Technology: Sub-Committee I (Higher education in STEM subjects)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the current barriers to the use by research groups of (1) anonymised, and (2) identifiable NHS patient data.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The law provides researchers access to anonymised data without permission. If personal identifiable data are required then the consent of the patient must be sought. The common law of confidentiality may be set aside using Section 251 of the National Health Service Act 2006, under which the Secretary of State may grant researchers such access as is important for the patient or the public good.

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