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Furore over care.data programme could jeopardise future medical research, doctors and charities warn

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1761 (Published 25 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1761
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Doctors and charities have warned that if GP patient data are not able to be linked to other datasets and shared with researchers, then important opportunities to improve health will be missed.

In an open letter to the Times on 24 February more than 50 of the UK’s most senior doctors and health executives have joined forces to outline the research benefits of sharing data.1 The letter comes just days after a campaigning group supported by more than 70 medical charities warned that the scaremongering about the care.data programme by the anti-data lobby could jeopardise medical research.2

Under the care.data programme England’s Health and Social Care Information Centre will bring together health and social care data from primary and secondary care for the first time and make pseudonymised data available to “approved groups …

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