Madlen Davies writes in Pulse:
An LMC is considering a county-wide boycott of the care.data extracts programme to raise awareness around their concerns, in a move NHS England said would be against the law.
Northumberland LMC leaders said practices in the region are looking at ways to boycott the controversial programme, which is being introduced by NHS England and will see confidential information from GP records sent to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and shared with commissioners, private companies and researchers in either identifiable and de-identifiable forms.
Practices in the region are concerned that allowing the extracts to happen would leave GPs vulnerable to legal action from patients under the Data Protection Act.
However, NHS England said that failure to disclose the data will mean practices would be in breach of their statutory obligation under the Health and Social Care Act (HaSCA) to share confidential information with the HSCIC.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced patients would have the right to opt out of having data shared with the HSCIC, or shared beyond the HSCIC, but it will be GPsâ€™ responsibility to make patients aware this was happening.
NHS England has now written to practices in the north of England, and has given them eight weeks to make patients aware of the changes using materials such as posters and leaflets jointly created by NHS England, the BMA and the RCGP. The other areas of the country will follow shortly.