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Patients in Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings can opt out of GP data sharing by NHS

Patients across the area are being urged to find out how medical data could be shared by the NHS and about the options open to them.

Independent Lincolnshire county councillors Richard Cleaver (Stamford West) and Phil Dilks (Deepings East) are encouraging people to be aware of the issue and of a June 23 deadline to take action.

Coun Cleaver, group lead on health, said: "Most people believe that, thanks to GDPR, their personal data cannot be shared without their explicit consent.

Phil Dilks and Richard Cleaver
Phil Dilks and Richard Cleaver

"NHS England is acting against the spirit of this principle by requiring people to opt out of it being shared, and also by not publicising the fact that they need to exercise this choice.

"This is yet another example of our highly bureaucratic NHS not being fully open with patients.

"As Independents on Lincolnshire County Council we intend, through its Health Scrutiny Committee, to encourage a culture of greater openness and accountability within the NHS in Lincolnshire."

Patients can opt out of their medical information being shared. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Patients can opt out of their medical information being shared. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Coun Dilks, who is leader of the Independent Group, added: "This controversial idea was shelved in 2014 after a Government consultation led to outrage that patients' GP record data would be collated centrally and then sold-on to third parties in the private sector."

There are two opt-outs available. One is to opt-out of GP records being shared with NHS digital and the other is to opt out of NHS digital sharing records with third parties.

On its website, the NHS says people can opt out at any time and that there is no deadline.

The NHS adds that it intends to share data to improve health and care and that it does not sell health and care data or share it with marketing and insurance companies.

Patients can find out more and opt out of having their GP data shared by visiting www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters

Those unable to go online can phone the NHS on 0300 303 5678 for a member of staff to help them.

  • Please note that this article has been amended. An earlier version stated councillors Cleaver and Dilks were encouraging people to opt out, but this is not the case. The Mercury apologises and is happy to set the record straight.

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