Currently, patients can ask their general practitioner (GP) to register two kinds of objections:
- Personal confidential information about them leaving the GP practice for purposes beyond their direct care (Type 1); and
- Personal confidential information being disseminated from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) aimed at purposes beyond their direct care (Type 2). Since January 2016, the HSCIC has been upholding Type 2 Objections.
On 6 July 2016, The National Data Guardian for Health and Care published an independent review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs:
This proposed a new simpler and more easily understood model enabling people to object to health and care information about them being used for purposes beyond their direct care.
However the review does not recommend any changes to existing arrangements until there has been a full consultation on the proposed new consent/opt-out model. The Department is currently consulting on taking forward the independent review’s recommendations, including the proposed consent/opt-out model. The consultation closes on 7 September 2016 and can be found here:
Any patient who does not want the personal data held in their GP record to be shared with the HSCIC will have their objection respected.