Patient-controlled medical records are the only way to go

William Heath from Mydex pointed out to me that both Labour and the Conservatives supported the principle of patient-controlled medical records:

We will explore how to give citizens direct access to thedata held on them by public agencies, so that people can use and control their own personal data in their interaction withservice providers.
Labour Party Manifesto, 12 April 2010

Wherever possible, we believe that personal data should be controlled by individual citizens themselves.
Conservative Party Manifesto, 13 April 2010

The principle is particularly important as the Financial Times reports today that further sharing patient data between NHS institutions is suspended because of the privacy problems of sharing without permissions:

The chances of England ever getting a fully interchangeable electronic patient record shrank again yesterday when the Department of Health confirmed it had suspended more uploads of the national summary care record in most of the country.

The move follows protests from the British Medical Association that patients were not being given sufficient opportunity to opt out.

We built Patients Know Best to solve this problem: patients control their medical record and then share it with all their clinicians, relatives, friends and carers who help with their health. This is how citizens control their data while gaining the benefits of sharing care. And it is the reason we are signing up NHS institutions from teaching hospitals like Great Ormond Street Hospital to GP surgeries like Ramsey Health Centre: it is the only way for the NHS to share patient data.

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