This site is intended for health professionals only campaign marred by ‘scaremongers’

21 February 2014

Share this article campaigners are “peddling scaremongering myths”, medical research organisations have claimed. 

Patients4Data, a group representing more than 70 bodies, said opponents risk preventing patients from being helped by a revolution in modern medicine. 

The experts claim it will help to assess diseases, examine new drugs and identify infection outbreaks, while also monitoring the performance of the NHS. 

NHS England’s campaign would see information from GP practices made available in a database, stripped of identifiable data. 

George Freeman, a Conservative MP and founder of Patients4Data, which represents charities and drug companies, said: “There are those who oppose not just the mechanism of data handling but the principle of patient empowerment and greater accountability.

“We cannot let opponents peddling scaremongering myths stop patients benefiting from this quiet revolution of modern medicine. There are issues to be addressed. But data is a force for good, not a Big Brother-style conspiracy.”

But a spokesman for MedConfidential, said: “[We are] campaigning to ensure that every flow of data into, within and out of the NHS is consensual, safe and transparent.

“The problem with is not mere miscommunication, it is that the entire scheme fails to meet the first and last of those criteria. It remains to be seen if it can be made safe, but it is for its proponents to prove this to the public’s satisfaction before any upload is permitted to proceed.”

Earlier this week NHS England announced that the collection of medical records will be delayed for six months to allow for a fresh patient information campaign.