The NHS has announced that it is scrapping the controversial Care Data scheme, which would have obliged GPs to pass on your personal medical data via Atos to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
The plan had been to allow the HSCIC to sell your data to drug companies and other interested parties. The data collected would have included your date of birth, postcode, NHS number, gender, health conditions, referrals to specialists, smoking and drinking habits and your body mass index.
The scheme was scrapped, however, after two separate reports raised concerns about the lack of transparency about what would happen to data and the difficulty of opting out of the scheme.
In a statement, NHS England said:
“In light of Dame Fiona’s recommendations, NHS England has taken the decision to close the care.data programme. However, the government and the health and care system remain absolutely committed to realising the benefits of sharing information, as an essential part of improving outcomes for patients. Therefore this work will now be taken forward by the National Information Board, in close collaboration with the primary care community, in order to retain public confidence and to drive better care for patients.”
Hopes of selling patients, data has been postponed, it seems, rather than scrapped for good.