Intended for healthcare professionals


Patients’ champion calls for single opt-out clause for all data sharing projects

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 14 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6193
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

A patients’ group has issued a warning to the UK government over new regional data centres that are meant to provide medical researchers and managers with access to millions of people’s personal medical records.

Healthwatch England said that proposals for so called accredited safe havens risked repeating mistakes made with the controversial programme that ministers had to delay after widespread concerns, including complaints that patients were poorly informed about how the data would be used.

Healthwatch, which speaks on behalf of users of the NHS and social care, said it welcomed the extra assurances given by the secretary of state since the furore about the way GP records will be used and how patients’ right to object to data sharing would be implemented. But these had not been made explicit in rules governing accredited safe havens, demonstrating that lessons had not been learnt, the organisation said.1

Anna Bradley, who chairs Healthwatch …

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