The NHS has delayed plans to share NHS medical records out of every GP individual in England with third parties.
Health and social care minister Jo Churchill announced that the patient information sharing programme are currently rolled-out on 1 September rather than 1 July.
Patients formerly just had until 23 June to opt-out by presenting a form to their GPs.
Churchill said the extra time would be used to”talk to doctors, patients and charities to strengthen the plan.”
The British Medical Association (BMA) known as the new development”an important win for patients, family doctors and the BMA”.
However, privacy campaigners say more needs to be done to publicise the plans and give individuals the decision to opt-out.
Phil Booth of privacy organisation, medconfidential, stated:”Nothing said means that patients will definitely have more information after the delay over the summer.”
WHY IT MATTERS
Campaigners, the BMA and the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) are among those who’ve voiced concern that the programs have yet to be well-publicised, leaving physicians to inform patients.
There are also anxieties about sensitive info about GP documents being shared, such as psychological and sexual health, criminal records, smoking, drinking habits and cases of domestic abuse.
NHS Digital states the present system for collecting patient information is more than 10 years old and needs replacing.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Previous NHS plans to place GP records at a central database under the Care.data programme were left in 2016 following outcry from campaigners and the general public.
ON THE RECORD
Newly appointed CEO of NHS Digital, Simon Bolton, stated:”Data saves lives and has enormous potential to rapidly improve care and outc