AN older people’s champion has voiced her concerns of data sharing patients’ confidential medical records after information leaflets are dropping through the doors of South Derbyshire residents.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is make GP surgeries supply patient information for collection and analysis so those involved in providing care and health services can see how well they are doing and where improvements need to be made.
Despite the leaflet stressing information will be confidential and patients’ identities will be protected, Gill Farrington, the chairman of South Derbyshire Forum, claims this will not be confidential for long. She also worries that residents may not read the leaflet which gives them a chance of opting out of the system.
She said: “As with all leaflets most of us throw them away without reading them. I think people need to give some thought to allowing this uploading of our records to happen.
“I am aware NHS are telling us our records (which belong to us) are going to be confidential, however the records will show our date of birth, postcode and our NHS number. This will not be confidential for long. “I know some doctors are not happy about having this foisted onto them and many do not agree with it. I have filled in a form to say I do not wish my records to be on this data base, but how will I and others be able to check that they have not been? I can only think that I will have to badger my GP to find out and I am sure he has better things to do.
“My concern is also as I have stated before that such companies as insurance and help aids for older people, to name just two, will eventually get the details.”
Dr Mark Davies, GP and HSCIC clinical and public assurance director, said: “It is important to emphasise to readers that patients’ confidential medical records will not be offered to private firms and that patient data will always be handled securely and respectfully.
“The HSCIC has a legal duty as the accredited ‘safe haven’ for secure analysis of health and social care data to protect privacy and confidentiality.”