Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt today warmly welcomed the Caldicott Review, outlining how information and technology will only have a transformational effect on healthcare if this agenda respects the relationship of trust between a medical professional and their patient.
The independent Caldicott Review, whose report ‘Information: To share or not to share?’, was published today, was carried out by Dame Fiona Caldicott following a request from Jeremy Hunt to make sure there is an appropriate balance between the protection of patient information and the use and sharing of information to improve patient care. Read more about the Caldicott review.
Speaking at the Electronic Patient Records Conference, Jeremy Hunt said that while effective sharing of patient information has enormous potential to improve patient care, services and treatments, this can only be done effectively if patients are given a say over how their personal information is used.
He announced that:
- Any patient that does not want personal data held in their GP record to be shared with the Health and Social Care Information Centre, will have their objection respected.
- Where personal data has already been shared from a GP practice to the Information Centre, a patient will still be able to have the identifiable information removed.
The British Medical Association, NHS England and The Royal College of General Practitioners will be raising public awareness so that people are informed of the changes and know how they can lodge an objection and GPs understand the role they need to play in implementing this.
Jeremy Hunt said:
"The Caldicott review has been about striking the right balance between sharing people’s health and care information to improve services and develop new treatments while respecting the privacy and wishes of the patient. If patients are to see the benefits of these changes we must respect the wishes of the small number of people who would prefer not to share this information."
Many of the recommendations in the review resonate with the DH’s Information Strategy, the 10 year framework for transforming information for the NHS, public health and social care; and with the commitments that have been made in the NHS Constitution and these will provide a helpful steer and a boost to making progress.
The Department will publish a comprehensive response in the summer.
Download Information: To share or not to share: The Information Governance Review