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Automatic opt-in to records

Patients will be automatically opted in to the NHS Care Re-cords Service unless they state they do not wish to participate, health minister Lord Warner has confirmed.

The move comes despite widespread opposition from GPs to the 'opt-out' model, with many doctors preferring that patients explicitly consent to the sharing of their information.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC chair, recently held discussions with a ministerial task group on the Care Record to try to thrash out an agreement over the issue.

But Lord Warner's announcement appears to rule out any possibility of a change in tack.

Lord Warner said a publicity campaign would inform patients about the scheme before it went live in their area, giving them an opportunity to dissent if they wanted to.

He said: 'If patients do not opt out they will be deemed

to have given implied consent

to the sharing of their in-

formation.'

Dr Grant Ingrams, deputy chair of the GPC's IT subcommittee, said the Government was failing to treat patients as adults who should have ultimate control over their data.

He said he could not see why it would be more work to explicitly seek the consent of patients.

Dr Ingrams said: '[Its approach] doesn't mean we were not right and are not still right in our belief that uploads without explicit consent is wrong.'

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