Intended for healthcare professionals


English NHS says patient consent necessary before record seen on screen

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 24 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1814
  1. Michael Cross
  1. 1London

    Five years after embarking on an IT programme to make health records available electronically, the NHS in England has conceded that patients should be asked for permission before their data are called up on screen.

    A new consent procedure, announced last week, will bring English practice into line with that of Wales and Scotland and promises to defuse one of the bitterest controversies over the NHS national programme for IT.

    The process involves the summary care record. This is a set of basic data about each registered NHS patient, such as current drugs and allergies, made available to all NHS organisations …

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