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Anonymised data of all NHS treatments must be put in public domain by 2015, strategy says

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e3648 (Published 22 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3648
  1. Michael Cross
  1. 1London

Anonymised data concerning every NHS treatment carried out in England—extracted from patients’ records—will be put in the public domain within three years under a long awaited information strategy for the NHS published this week.1

The strategy also commits the NHS to offering all primary care patients access to their health records on the internet and the ability to book appointments and obtain repeat prescriptions online.

The BMA said that the strategy “contains positive improvements which should benefit patients” but called for more detail and warned of threats to patients’ confidentiality.

The information strategy, published by the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, on Monday 21 May, is the fourth major attempt in 20 years to use information technology to join up NHS services. Unlike its predecessors, however, it extends to local authority social care as well as …

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