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Wales considers record sharing

Wales is considering expanding its GP record sharing schemes to make patient information available for ‘non-direct care purposes’, similar to NHS England’s scheme.

In a green paper launched this week, the Welsh Government has called for views on overhauling patient record keeping so that it may be shared between different parts of the health service for direct care as well as externally for management and research purposes.

The paper states: ‘Despite systems being in place, there is a perceived failure of various bodies to share patients’ information even though it is in the interest of the safety and quality of their care… There may also be other instances when the processing or sharing of patient identifiable information for non-direct patient care purposes could be in the interests of improving health and wellbeing and the effectiveness of services, for example, the way in which information is provided for research or management purposes.’

The paper goes on to question stakeholders on their ‘views on the collection and sharing of patient identifiable information for non-direct patient care, such as research’ and what issues there are to consider.

The paper is also consulting on an overhauling Wales’ regulatory equivalent of the CQC, Health Inspectorate Wales, to make it statutorily independent of the Government., NHS England’s scheme to extract GP records to link with information already shared by hospitals to improve research and commissioning, announced its pilots would relaunch this month after an 18-month delay.