As reported by Pulse, at their annual conference yesterday the British Medical Association backed tighter restrictions on access to confidential patient records:
GPs and consultants are insisting anyone not actively involved in a patient’s treatment be blocked from accessing their record, amid fears that the Summary Care Record rollout is a huge threat to patient confidentiality.
Representatives at the BMA's Annual Representative Meeting backed a motion urging that ‘a proper identity and access management system must be in place across the NHS’.
The motion called for access to electronic patient records to be role-based, and ‘normally only be possible when there is a current clinical relationship with the patient’.
Those familiar with Big Brother Watch will remember our report Broken Records – in which we exposed the number of non-medical staff (that is staff not directly involved in patient care) with access to our medical records.
As we found, of the 72% of NHS Trusts that responded, there were at least 101,272 non-medical personnel with access to confidential medical records. On average, 723 staff not involved in direct patient care in each Trust have access to medical records.
It is very encouraging to hear that the doctors' own representative body is backing the call we made with our report in March. We hope in their so-called review of the Summary Care Record, that the Coalition Government also recognises the need to keep confidential medical records, confidential.
By Dylan Sharpe