The NHS is uploading information from patients' GP medical records onto the national NHS Spine database in the form of 'Summary Care Records'. These records would hold contact details & private medical data (e.g. prescriptions) in a national database.
Patients should be able to remove their health record data completely from the national NHS Spine database, and bring it back to GP control if they wish. None of their personal health data should be kept, even in a masked form, on a national database if they don't want it there.
Why does this idea matter?
You can opt-out before they upload your SCR – fine. But If you don’t object and then you change your mind, the Government will NOT let you remove your record. They will just ‘mask’ it to stop clinicians reading it. Your data would still be kept centrally – with the Health Secretary as its ‘Data Controller’. They won’t even delete your record if it’s accidentally uploaded by a GP practice against your wishes.
In the last Government, the DoH said in an FOI reply: ‘Ministers have determined patients need not have an SCR if they do not want one’. [If an SCR is made, they added]: ‘The issue of audit and the medico-legal evidential significance of the SCR will be extremely important and it would be inappropriate to provide tools that could completely remove a record, even if this were feasible' [&] ‘the cost of completely removing them would be prohibitive'.
We call on the new Government to find a new low-cost way should be found to let patients delete their SCR’s even after creation.
Surely the patient should decide who keeps hold of their medical details at any one point in time?