Controversial plans for the NHS to copy the entire GP medical history from every patient in England to an NHS Digital database have been scrapped amid concerns raised by rights groups and doctors.
The system has now been pushed back to September 1.
Big Brother Watch director Silkie Carlo told MailOnline: ‘This secretive data grab shows appalling disrespect to the public and a disregard for medical confidentiality. Medical privacy is the bedrock of public health and Hancock’s seismic failure could not come at a worse time.
‘Lots of people will be happy to consent to sharing their medical data but will not tolerate having it taken, shared and sold without their knowledge or permission.
‘The Government should urgently change this to an opt in system rather than opt out and write to every person to inform us of our choice.
‘Thousands of our supporters are sending opt out forms to their GPs as we speak, but millions more don’t even know their medical records are about to be grabbed.’