Health Records Of Every NHS Patient To Be Shared In Vast Database

Sarah Knapton | The Telegraph | January 10, 2014

The health records of everyone in the NHS will be pooled in a vast database which can be accessed by researchers and pharmaceutical companies. But campaigners warn it could breach privacy.

The medical notes of every NHS patient are to be pooled in a vast database to improve research.

In the coming days every household in Britain will receive a letter advising them that, from April, their medical histories will be shared with researchers and pharmaceutical companies unless they opt out.

Today leading charities including Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation launch a campaign to highlight the importance of allowing the notes to be accessed for the advancement of medical science.

They say the database will help them understand the causes of disease, spot side-effects to new drugs and detect outbreaks of infectious diseases.