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Public confidence in GPs' data-handling hit

By Steve Nowottny

Public confidence in GPs' ability to safeguard confidential patient data has dropped significantly over the past year, according to experts.

A survey from data protection company DQM Group found that a series of high-profile data security breaches had diminished public confidence in the ability of organisations to hold data securely across the board.

A sample of 2,000 adults across the UK was asked about their confidence in a range of different organisations. Their responses were scored from 1-10, with 1 representing ‘extreme distrust' and 10 representing ‘substantial trust'.

Confidence in the ability of central Government to safeguard data has hit a new low, at 3.39, down from 4.49 last year.

But confidence in GPs had also fallen - even though they remain the most trusted profession. Survey respondents gave GPs an average score of 6.42, down from 7.16 last year.

DQM Group managing director Adrian Gregory said: ‘These findings highlight the urgent need to improve standards of personal data security in the private and public sectors alike.'

‘In order to start the process of standards improvement, however, organisations need a means of benchmarking their current data security standards against an industry and best practice average.'

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