Rosie Cooper MP fears health bosses are putting pressure on GP Practices to ensure patients do not opt-out of sharing their medical records as part of the care data programmes. Information that is supposed to be used to improve health services but will also be made available to private health companies.
Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSIC) will be allow to collect and share confidential information from medical records. This will see the launch of the care data service.
Currently patients have the right to object to any extraction of Personal Confidential Data (PCD). On this issue the Health Secretary has given a public commitment that patient’s objections and decision to opt-out will be respected. However, Rosie Cooper MP has received information GP Practices face the threat of being investigated if the level of patients opting-out in their practice is deemed to be too high.
In response to this news MP Rosie has tabled a series of Parliamentary Questions to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to establish if pressure is to be applied to GP's.
Commons Health Select Committee member, Ms Cooper said:
"'No decision about me without me' is becoming just another promise to patients this Conservative-led Government is breaking.
“Whilst the Health Secretary is publicly promising to respect patients’ confidentiality in private GP's are being threatened and bullied into ensuring patients don't choose to opt-out.
"From the outset we have seen constant erosion in the protection of the information and how it will be used. At first it was stated the information would be anonymous now it won't be. It is clear the patient’s age, postcode and NHS number will be attached to the medical records, which means people will easily be identified and targeted by those who have the database such as private companies.
"From the self-proclaimed most open and transparent government in history; it feels to me as if they are doing a shady deal in a dark corner with our personal, private medical information. I don't like it and believe we need answers before it’s too late.
"We will see if the Health Secretary is as open in answering my Parliamentary Questions as he is in offering our medical records to the private sector.
“If you don't want your records passed on to others make sure you tell your GP now before it’s too late!"