NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information, Tim Kelsey, said: “We welcome the increase in public awareness and debate about NHS data usage following the nationwide distribution of the leaflet ‘Better Information Means Better Care’, but it’s vital this debate is based on facts.
“There are no ‘backdoors’ to this information. There is absolutely no change to how police can access individual GP records as a result of the programme to upgrade how NHS data is collected. For cases about an individual, police would still go to the hospital or GP practice rather than the HSCIC and that organisation would act in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 (requests made using the s29 exemption for ‘Crime and Taxation’) and the Department of Health NHS Confidentiality Code of Practice.”
For a detailed explanation of how the NHS uses patient data, please take a look at NHS England’s Chief Data Officer Dr Geraint Lewis’ blog here.