Letters Patient data

Cancer charities need access to patient data too

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5864 (Published 02 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5864
  1. Mike Hobday, director of policy and research1
  1. 1Macmillan Cancer Support, London SE1 7UQ, UK
  1. ckeuls{at}macmillan.org.uk

Macmillan Cancer Support welcomes the questions O’Dowd raises about the use of patient data for research purposes.1 Bodies such as the Health and Social Care Information Centre rightly need to protect patient privacy, but we believe this is possible while still realising the benefits of analysing patient level data.

For example, our ongoing “routes from diagnosis” programme uses …

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