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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Making a Difference: Safe and Secure Data Sharing

Making a Difference: Safe and Secure Data Sharing Between Health and Adult Social Care Staff - Cabinet Office

The Cabinet Office Better Regulation Executive has produced this report because "persistent confusion exists amongst practitioners and professionals over the interpretation of data sharing legislation. This confusion stems from the perception that the Data Protection Act is vague and lacks sufficient detail required at grass-roots."

Key issues identified during fieldwork and included in this report are:

* Increased numbers of patient record requests as a result of personal injury claims;
*• Confusion about the legal position on data sharing and existing guidance from central government departments and professional bodies, particularly around the common law duty of confidentiality and Data Protection Act; and
* A lack of clarity around gaining patient consent to share information for medical research.

The report outlines agreed actions that will yield the following benefits:

*• a reduction of patient record requests;
*• a single protocol which details when information can be shared between health and adult social care staff; and
*• the clarification of the use of patient information for medical research.

The report uses a series of case studies to explore some of the issues which can arise and potential solutions and outcomes with implementation dates. It will be interesting to see whether these are met and whether greater clarity does result.

Further comment on this is available from E Health Insider Primary Care

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