GPs unsure about sharing patient data with businesses
A survey carried out by GP publication Pulse has shown that GPs are divided over releasing patient records under the NHS England care.data scheme. The scheme will make available patient data from GP practices to researchers and businesses. NHS officials have stressed that patient data will be 'pseudoynmised' with disguised indentities however not truly anonymised.
The survey, carried out earlier this month, involved 391 GPs and found that 41% of those questioned intended to opt-out of the scheme, 43% said they would not opt-out and 16% were undecided. Information leaflets on the care.data scheme will shortly be sent to every household in England. GPs that have decided to opt-out cited concerns over safety of the data and how this scheme was to be conducted.
Pulse reported the following comments:
Dr Marie-Louise Tidmarsh, a GP in Horsley Woodhouse, Derbyshire, said that she would be opting out as her details could easily identify her to her neighbours.
She said: ‘I think patients have been misled about the “confidential” nature of the data extractions, and it is not clear to whom the data may be sold.’
Dr Ian Williams, a GP in Tunbridge Wells, Kent said: ‘I wish to opt out as I am concerned about identifiable data being moved around and passed on to third parties.
‘I would have no objection if the data held on my records was “pseudoynmised” before being extracted from the practice records.’