medConfidential’s comment on the Written Ministerial Statement responding to the Caldicott 3 Review
While more details will emerge over the next several weeks, and given this is only a response to Dame Fiona Caldicott’s Review (and not any of the work by NHS England which depends upon it), medConfidential is in the first instance cautiously positive.
In summary, the Statement says a number of things:
- Patients will be offered a digital service through NHS.uk that will enable them to see how their medical records are used: both for direct care, and secondary uses beyond direct care.
- Existing opt-outs preventing patients’ data being extracted from GP practices are protected until at least 2020.
- There will be further consultations on the details of any changes.
- Patients who have opted out will be written to about the Caldicott consent model when implementation is finalised (but before changes take effect).
- NHS Improvement will begin to take cyber security into account. CQC now do.
Reflecting the very strong response from front-line clinicians and technical staff to the WannaCry ransomware outbreak, the Statement is very strong on cyber-security. Whether the analogue administrators that caused so much unnecessary hassle during that event have learnt lessons will become clear, next time…
With the newly-digital DCMS about to launch the Data Protection Bill, will the Government actually deliver on its commitment to a Statutory National Data Guardian?
Phil Booth, Coordinator of medConfidential said:
“We welcome the clear commitment that patients will know how their medical records have been used, both for direct care and beyond. This commitment means that patients will have an evidence base to reassure them that their wishes have been honoured.
“Some of the details remain to be worked out, but there is a clear commitment from the Secretary of State. The focus on digital tools shows the benefit to the whole NHS of the work towards NHS.uk. It is now up to NHS Digital and NHS England to deliver.
“The wait for consensual, safe, and transparent data flows in the NHS is hopefully almost over, and then new data projects can move forwards to deliver benefits for patients and vital research. Today’s announcement is about fixing what NHS England had already broken. The perils of a National Data Lake may lie ahead, but we hope lessons have been learnt, so we don’t end up back here in another 4 years.”