Medical Records: Databases

Health written question – answered on 4th February 2014.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any medical data will be extracted by from GP-held records of patients who have objected to the use of their confidential information by others than those providing them with care.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

holding answer 3 February 2014

In terms of information which identifies a patient, NHS England’s “Better information means better care” leaflet sets out how people can ask their GP practice to note their objections, which will prevent confidential, identifiable data about them being used by the programme, other than in a very limited number of exceptional circumstances.

As examples, existing public health legislation may require data to control the spread of specific infectious diseases or the police may require information about an individual patient when investigating serious crime. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and must balance legal requirements, the duty of confidentiality owed to the patient and the accepted public interest in a confidential health service, all against any benefits that may arise from the disclosure.

It is important to note that provisions in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 are designed to strengthen and clarify the role of the Health and Social Care Information Centre so that information can be collected, held securely and made readily available to those who need it in safe, de-identified formats, with crucial safeguards in place to protect the confidential data it holds.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 is clear that

“information which identifies or enables identification of a person must not be published”.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes3 people think so

No26 people think not

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