WEARSIDE residents are being given the chance to opt out of an NHS data sharing scheme.
The “Better Information Means Better Care” leaflet, which explains how the NHS uses patient information, is being delivered to households across Sunderland.
Medics say sharing information helps ensure that the quality and safety of services is consistent across the country and can also highlight different diseases and conditions that may require more NHS investment.
But patients have the right to object to their data being used for purposes other than their direct care.
Care.data will effectively be an “anonymised” medical database which will include details of every NHS patient.
But there is a proposal, to be discussed at a meeting in March, that will allow it to be made available to non-NHS groups, such as drug companies.
Dr Geraint Lewis, Chief Data Officer at NHS England, said: “This initiative is about upgrading our information systems to get a more complete picture of the quality of care being delivered across all parts of the NHS and social care.”
If patients wish to restrict their data being used then they should talk to their GP.
For more information, call 0300 456 3531 or alternatively you can visit www.england.nhs.uk