Patient records plan put on hold

Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

A controversial plan to upload patients’ medical records to a central database has been shelved for six months.

GP surgeries in Lancaster and Morecambe are offering leaflets allowing patients to opt out of having their details uploaded. say the database will enable them to assess diseases, examine new drugs on the market and identify infection outbreaks, as well as monitor the performance of the NHS. But Lesley Archer, of Rhylstone Drive, Heysham, who cares for 88-year-old Robert Nightingale, is worried no-one knows about it. She said: “I had a leaflet put through my door but I don’t know anyone else who has had one.

“All your medical records will be sent from your GP to a giant central database and you have to actively opt out to prevent that happening, rather than consent to get involved.

“I just wonder how many people actually know about this?

“The delay is so that people can be brainwashed really. The NHS haven’t got a good record on keeping things confidential.” NHS England agreed to delay the roll-out of by six months until the autumn amid criticism of how it has run the public information campaign about the project.

A spokesman for NHS England said: “Royal Mail was contracted to deliver leaflets to every possible household in England during January.

“We are currently following up concerns with Royal Mail that some households have not received leaflets. Copies of the leaflet are available online on at or by calling 0300 456 3531.”