The law allows personal data to be shared between those offering care directly to patients but it protects patients’ confidentiality when data about them are used for other purposes. These “secondary uses” of data are essential if we are to run a safe, efficient, and equitable health service.
- Reviewing and improving the quality of care provided
- Researching what treatments work best
- Commissioning clinical services
- Planning public health services
Generally speaking, people within the healthcare system using data for secondary purposes must only use data that do not identify individual patients unless they have the consent of the patient themselves.
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