Health Services and Social Services: Data Protection

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Freyberg Lord Freyberg Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to permit anonymised data (1) controlled, or (2) generated, by publicly funded health and care organisations in the UK to be shared for commercial purposes with businesses headquartered in non-EEA countries after Brexit.

Photo of Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Access to patient information for commercial purposes is not permitted, unless the patient has given their consent. The Government's principles governing data-sharing agreements entered into by National Health Service organisations, originally published in draft in December 2018 and reaffirmed in the policy framework update document published earlier this month, make clear that NHS data may only be accessed by third parties where there is an explicit aim to improve the health, welfare and/or care of patients in the NHS or the operation of the NHS, and that a fair share of the benefits from any agreements flow back to the NHS. We do not anticipate this will change when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

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