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'GPs face legal action'

GPs who share patient records without obtaining explicit consent could leave themselves open to legal action, says Dr Paul Thornton, a GP and veteran campaigner on IT issues.

Dr Thornton said the NHS Care Records Service threatened patient confidentiality in a variety of ways – citing smartcard access, security of records on the internet and faults in the 'sealed envelope' system.

'There's a real risk of GPs being subject to complaints and litigation,' said Dr Thornton, a GP in Kingsbury, Warwickshire.

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