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GPs should lose ‘sole patient data controller’ role, says NHSE chief

The government should ‘relieve’ GP practices of being the sole controller for their patients’ data, a senior NHS England director has said. 

Tim Ferris, NHSE director of transformation, said it was a “challenge” that GP practices acted as the sole controllers of their patients’ data. 

Dr Ferris, whose background is as a primary care doctor in the US, was giving evidence to a Lords committee on integration of primary and community care today. He was asked whether it was time to revisit legislation on the control of GP patient data.

He said: “Thirty years ago when the law was created, it made more sense. But I think it might no longer be fit for purpose… The idea that if I were a GP in this country, if I had legal liability for the exchange of data, I would be worried about that.”

Dr Ferris agreed there would be merit to the committee recommending the government “relieve” GPs of the sole responsibility for data protection, and their data controller status.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 20 June 2023


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