NHS managers rule out publicity campaign for controversial data extract programme 2

Madlen Davies writes in Pulse:

The responsibility for informing patients about the controversial care.data extracts scheme, in which identifiable data will be extracted from GP records and sent to the Health and Social Care Information Centre, will fall solely on GPs after NHS England ruled out a national publicity scheme.

In a move criticised by campaigners, NHS England said that it will engage with patient, voluntary and charity groups to support raising awareness, offer ‘regional support’ and will set up a website for patients, but will not run a national publicity campaign.

Instead, it will be GP practices’ responsibility to inform patients about the changes, and provide them with information on how they can raise an objection to their data being shared, NHS England said. A range of materials has already been jointly produced with the HSCIC, BMA and RCGP to support this, it added.

Pulse reported earlier this month that GPs could face legal action and prosecution under the Data Protection Act if they don’t take ‘reasonable steps’ to inform patients that identifiable data will be extracted from their records. The data is then sent to the HSCIC, where it will be shared with commissioners, researchers and private companies in a de-identified form.