Medical Records: Data Protection

Health written question – answered on 12th February 2014.

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Photo of Roger Godsiff Roger Godsiff Labour, Birmingham, Hall Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many errors in handling patient data resulting in breaches of confidentiality took place in the NHS in each of the last five years for which data are available.

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

This information is not collected centrally.

We have no evidence that there are widespread failings in data handling that would warrant the burden of a new data collection. Errors in data handling might include wrongly addressed e-mails, conversations in public spaces and other errors which need to be managed locally.

Responsibility for handling data securely and confidentially rests with individual local organisations. If a patient has any concerns over how errors to medical records are handled or finds they are the subject of a confidentiality breach they should report it as soon as possible to the organisation concerned through their complaints procedure process. In extreme cases incidents should be reported to the Information Commissioner.

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