Sunday, 19 March 2017

26 million GP patients' records may have been 'at risk'



The confidential medical details of 26 million GP patients may have been made available to hundreds of thousands of people.
 
It is being described as "the biggest data protection breach in the history of the NHS" by privacy campaign group medConfidential.


The Information Commissioner is looking into the breach, which affects patients whose GP surgeries use an IT system called SystmOne.


An estimated 2,700 surgeries in England - around one in three - use the system, which is provided by the company TPP.


When doctors click to allow "advanced data sharing", which may be done in order to share records with a hospital, the notes become accessible to thousands of employees of several organisations that also subscribe to TPP.


They include staff in pharmacies, care homes and prisons, as well as staff in other surgeries and hospitals.


It means anyone who works within organisations can look up confidential information about an individual.


Sam Smith from medConfidential told Sky News: "There is a missing feature in that GPs were told you can share data with everybody who uses TPP, or you can share data with nobody, and there should be a setting in the middle."


An NHS spokesperson said: "We are aware that the Information Commissioner's Office have raised data protection compliance concerns.


"NHS organisations are already supporting TPP to respond to the issues raised working closely with the Information Commissioner's Office and GP leaders - and the full response plan will be implemented by summer."


A spokesperson from TPP told Sky News: "Doctors need access to patient records to give patients the best care possible. All systems need to be able to provide access to information for carers.


"Department of Health strategy is that patients' records should be accessible to health and care providers, when needed, at the point of care.


"TPP supports this policy and is uniquely capable of delivering technology to facilitate this. Our technology has allowed doctors to improve the patient care they deliver and we have examples of where it has saved the lives of people across the country."

 


SKY    News.