Patients need to be informed about how their data is used – but this must not become another responsibility for GPs, says College

Publication date: 01 June 2021

The College has issued the following statement in response to NHS Digital’s proposals for data sharing.

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “The College supports the principle of improved sharing of data for important healthcare planning and research, but it is critical that this is transparent and that patients have confidence and trust in how the NHS and other bodies might use their information. Along with the BMA, we have engaged with the planning of this new data collection – which is a legal requirement of GP practices – for several years and are continuing to lobby NHS Digital to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place for how the data collected is used.

“The job of informing the public must not be left to busy GPs, especially at a time of extreme workload pressures and focus on the COVID-19 vaccination programme, so we have written to NHS Digital urging them to undertake greater communications with the public about this new collection and their options for opting out.”

Further Information

(For media only)

RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7633/7494/7574

Out of hours: 020 3188 7659 

press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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