Intended for healthcare professionals


New data strategy for England aims to rebuild public trust

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 14 June 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1455
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Kent

The government has set out its new data strategy for health and social care in England and put “public trust and confidence front and centre” after widespread concern over consent and confidentiality stalled the launch of the GP data collection scheme last year.

Data Saves Lives: Reshaping Health and Social Care with Data1 sets out far stronger safeguards, with researchers only able to access data through trusted research environments (TREs). This means that data linked to an individual will never leave a secure server and can only be used for agreed research purposes. All access to the data and analysis will be monitored to reduce the risk of data breaches or other misuse.

Patients will have greater access to and control over their data including by simplifying the opt out processes for data sharing and improving access to GP records. The public will also be consulted on a new “data pact” which will set out how the healthcare system will use patient data, and what the public has the right to expect.

Last summer 1.5 million people opted out of the planned …

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