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Letters Researchers’ access to medical records

Good quality research demands consent

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 11 August 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4314
  1. Paul Thornton, general practitioner1
  1. 1Kenilworth CV8 1PL, UK
  1. paulthornton{at}

Darzi perpetuates the narrative that ran the national NHS database into the buffers, wasting billions of pounds, and that has derailed the programme.1

There is no conspiracy against research—just explicit and deliberate protection for patient information, with the transfer of identifiable information requiring consent.

Nor has there ever been any barrier in law to the transfer of information between health …

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