care.data programme delayed by six months
NHS England today announced that they are delaying the care.data programme by six months. Data from GP surgeries will now be collected in Autumn instead of April this year. The delay has been introduced to allow patients more time to understand the benefits that sharing this data will bring, the safeguards that have been put in place and their right to opt out.
The care.data programme will centralise medical records from GP surgeries, partially anonymising the data and making it available to third parties including insurance and private healthcare companies.
Honorary Secretary of the RCGP, Professor Nigel Mathers, said:
“We would like to thank NHS England for listening to the concerns of RCGP members and for acting so quickly to announce this pause. The extra time will provide it with the chance to redouble its efforts to inform every patient of their right to opt out, every GP of how the programme will work, and the nation of what robust safeguards will be in place to protect the security of people’s data.”
Chair of Healthwatch England, Anna Bradley, said:
“This is a really positive move by NHS England. They have shown a willingness to listen to what the public have to say about the way their health and care services are run.