GPs under pressure to share the health files of patients
Published on 27 Feb 2010
Doctors fear confidential medical records belonging to millions of Scots could be accessed at thousands of computer terminals across the Scottish NHS.
GPs say they are coming under increasing pressure to release files containing patients’ medical histories to the wider health service and are so concerned they are to hold a special debate on the issue next month.
Patients’ representatives have also raised concerns and the Information Commissioner’s Office says there must be adequate safeguards to keep information secure.
The issue is being raised just weeks after it emerged a doctor accused of looking up confidential health information on the Prime Minister, the First Minister, and a series of other high-profile Scots will not be prosecuted.
In Scotland, a patient’s full medical record can currently be accessed only via computers at the GP practice where they are registered.
A few details, however, known as the emergency care summary, are available to authorised staff across NHS Scotland, including NHS 24 nurses and A&E departments. This covers any prescriptions the patient is taking and any allergic reactions to drugs.
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