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GPs should use public ‘trust’ to sell benefits of care.data, says Hunt



GPs should use their relationship with patients and the ‘trust’ the public has in them to sell the benefits of care.data to patients, the health secretary has claimed.

Speaking in an interview with Channel 5 News, Jeremy Hunt said there were ‘better ways of communicating’ the benefits of the record sharing scheme, and GPs in particular should be the conduit for this.

He said that he was going to use the six-month delay to the scheme to persuade the public of the benefits of care.data.

Mr Hunt told Channel 5 News: ‘We will find some better ways of communicating that to the public, I think particularly through GPs, because I think the public do trust their GPs, and we need to communicate better through GPs.’

‘But I think it’s worth having that six-month delay because this is so important scientifically and this is going to save so many lives that it’s really important that we carry the public with us’

Mr Hunt also stressed that data sharing in hospitals has been happening for 25 years, but argued the only reason for the debate now was the Government’s decision to offer a public opt out.

The care.data delay was announced at the end of February to give patients ‘time to learn about the benefits of sharing information and their right to object to their information being shared.’