Big Brother’s big data grab: GPs caught up in patient records controversy

My GP’s website has a statement on this, with how to opt-out, on the home page. How about you? Ticked the box?…:

[…] The latest NHS scheme will see patient records extracted from practices, pseudonymised by the GP IT system and sent to NHS Digital, which will pass the packaged data to interested third parties. And it has serious implications for GPs.

Under the scheme – named ‘General Practice Data for Planning and Research’, or GPDPR – it is up to practices to notify all their patients about the plans. On 1 September, NHS Digital will extract all patient data from GP records, except for patients who have opted out and whose opt-outs have been processed by GPs. Future data will then be extracted routinely, until a patient opts out.

This will, of course, be a significant burden for GPs at a time when they are already facing huge workload. But workload is only part of the problem. GPs are still unclear about their obligations, and a case led by campaigning organisation Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) is currently going through the court to establish the scheme’s legal basis.

But perhaps the biggest effect of the scheme – or, more accurately, the publicity around it – will be on the GP-patient relationship.  There are even suggestions that patients will be less willing to come forward with health concerns due to worries about privacy.

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Original article