Couple’s anger over controversial national medical records sharing

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A COUPLE have expressed their ‘dismay’ that the medical records of every person in England could soon be shared to a central database.

The controversial scheme, currently under consultation, would see patients’ details shared to a single English database unless they opt out.

It has been designed to help hospitals quickly find information about patients from out of their area, though some have criticised the scheme.

“The first I knew about this was when I saw a notice up about it at my doctors and it totally shocked me,” said Dorothy Brain from Westergate.

“The notice said unless you opt out your details would be shared to a database and that there was no guarantee the information wouldn’t be passed on.

“It scared me and my husband to death.

“I understand the idea of wanting hospitals to immediately be able to gather information about patients but why should that be shared?

“I read the papers and I’ve not seen anything about this at all. Bearing in mind that people will have their details shared unless they opt out it’s very worrying.”

Mrs Brain and her husband have already filled out a form to ‘opt out’ and handed it back to their surgery, the Croft Practice in Eastergate.

She says she is willing to risk delays in treatment if she is injured in another part of the country for the sake of keeping her details private.

Patients can opt out of the system, called the Care.Data Programme.

According to the NHS England website, it will help “ensure that the quality and safety of services is consistent across the country. “It can also highlight different diseases and conditions that may require more NHS investment.

“The care.data programme gives an opportunity for each of us to help the NHS provide high quality care for all.”

Would you be happy for your medical records to be held on a central database or will you be opting out?

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