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EU ruling could ‘confuse’ NHS data protection

24 October 2013

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A new Europe-wide law on data protection could have an adverse effect on healthcare provision in the UK, health leaders have warned. 

The European Parliament has agreed on new legislation which aims to harmonise data protection regulations across the EU. 

But the NHS Confederation’s Europe Office has highlighted concerns that the changes could be confusing around the issue of consent for processing personal data in a health contect. 

The group believes this could create a barrier to the sharing of patient data. 

The EUs suggestions would impose a number of administrative responsibilities, which could pose a financial and time burden on the health service. 

Elisabetta Zanon, director of the NHS European Office said: “Members of the European Parliament have failed to understand the consequences this complex legislation will have on health. They have underestimated the negative impact on patients’ access to fast and effective healthcare. “We will continue to concentrate all our efforts on ensuring that EU decision makers are made aware of our concerns and that the final legislation does not have a negative impact on patients.”