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Report Suggests a Medical NHS Database Could Pose Confidentiality Risks

The Telegraph have obtained a copy of an NHS internally produced report detailing the risks in patient confidentiality should a new record NHS Database be produced.

The controversial database could be vulnerable to hackers who might obtain identity to patients and maliciously corrupt the system. The report suggests that collating information about patients could provide an easy route for those with nefarious intent to ‘maliciously’ access patent information to identify illnesses, vital statistics and medication.

The NHS is notifying all 26 million households in England of its plans to set up the £50m Care.data NHS database scheme with an option for patients to opt out.  Those behind the plan have suggested private healthcare firms will be able to work in partnership with the NHS to provide a universal database of British citizen’s health issues.

The report suggests “the extraction of personal confidential data from providers without consent carries the risk that patients may lose trust in the confidential nature of the health service.” And that “this risk is two-fold; firstly, patients will not receive optimal healthcare if they withhold information from the clinicians that are treating them; and secondly, that this loss of trust degrades the quality of data.”

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