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Home Industry News NHS data sharing programme delayed due to awareness concerns

NHS data sharing programme delayed due to awareness concerns

19th February 2014

The rollout of NHS England's controversial patient data sharing programme has been delayed following concerns expressed by patients and professional organisations.

NHS England had initially planned to begin collecting data from GP surgeries in April 2014 for its care.data initiative, but this has now been delayed by six months to autumn due to a lack of understanding of the full implications of the scheme.

This additional time will allow more time to build understanding of the benefits of using the information, what safeguards are in place and how people can opt out if they choose to, with other industry bodies to be involved in discussions of how to facilitate the process.

Care.data's purpose is to improve the NHS's understanding of treatment standards and areas of need, but at present many people do not understand its full implications, with some expressing privacy concerns.

Tim Kelsey, national director for patients and information at NHS England, said: "We have been told very clearly that patients need more time to learn about the benefits of sharing information and their right to object to their information being shared."

NHS England's decision has been welcomed by the British Medical Association, which said a programme of this kind can only be introduced with the "support and consent" of the public.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801695493-ADNFCR

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