Feeds

Government issues NHS records guarantee

New rules on security and patient rights

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

New rules on the security of information to be held in the NHS Care Records Service, which will start rolling out across England next year, were published by the Government yesterday. It hopes that the rules will calm fears of privacy abuses.

The Service, a nationwide patient health record system, is intended to update the existing eclectic system, which relies on a mixture of paper and computer records, and is not always available to doctors in an emergency, which is when they need it most.

The new service will be centralised, and available to all those authorised to access it. This triggered concerns about privacy so, in response, the Government has published the Care Record Guarantee. The Guarantee makes 12 commitments to patients about their records. Guarantor of these new patient rights will be the Secretary of State for Health, currently Patricia Hewitt.

The Guarantee provides:

  • Individuals will be allowed access to their own records;
  • Access to records by NHS staff will be strictly limited to those having a 'need to know' to provide effective treatment to a patient;
  • Information will not be shared outwith the NHS unless individuals grant permission, the NHS is obliged to do so by law, or failure to share would put someone else at risk. Any sharing without permission will be carried out following best practice guidelines;
  • If individuals are unable to make a decision about sharing health information on their own behalf, a senior health care professional may make a decision to do so, taking into account the views of relatives, carers and any recorded views of the individual;
  • Where health care is provided by a care team including people from other services, the NHS and patient can agree to share health information with the other services, bearing in mind the effect failure to share might have on the quality of care received;
  • Individuals can choose not to share information in their electronic care records, although this may have an impact on the quality of care received;
  • A complaints procedure;
  • That individuals are entitled to check and correct mistakes in their record;
  • That the NHS must enforce a duty of confidentiality on their staff and organisations under contract to the NHS;
  • That the NHS must keep the records secure and confidential;
  • That the NHS must keep a record of everyone who looks at the information held in the Service. Individuals will be entitled to ask for a list of people accessing their records, and details of when they looked at the records; and
  • That the NHS must take enforcement action if someone looks at records without permission or good reason.

According to Health Minister Lord Warner, the rules will be backed up with tough security measures, ensuring that everyone can have confidence in the new Service.

© Pinsent Masons 2000 - 2005

See: The Guarantee (Eight-page PDF)

Related stories

NHS chief cans patient control over health record access
GPs have no faith in £6bn NHS IT programme
What's the point of NHS IT? No one knows

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.