Three crucial safeguards for medical records proposed by leading voices on care.data

Caroline Molloy writes for Open Democracy about three amendments on care.data proposed by Professor Allyson Pollock and Peter Roderick:

To address concerns and ensure data is available for genuinely medical and public health purposes, the authors have drafted three amendments which they are urging the Lords to adopt:

“To keep confidential patient data in the public sector unless commercial organisations have express consent” and can demonstrate data are required for express medical purposes as set out in the law currently;

“To put the Caldicott Independent Oversight Panel on a statutory footing with a duty for its advice to be taken into account”, and

“To ensure independent or parliamentary oversight of directions to the Health and Social Care Information Centre and the accreditation scheme.”

Prof Pollock explains:

“These amendments will stop commercial exploitation of patient data and ensure there is proper scrutiny of commercial companies’ activities but they are still not sufficient to ensure full transparency over data flows, particularly to and among private companies. Further discussion and legislation are needed over the next six months to put an information system in place that deserves public confidence.”

It remains to be seen whether the Lords will adopt Pollock and Roderick’s amendments.

The full briefing note and proposed amendments are available on-line.

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