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GPs demand indemnity against damages resulting from Caldicott reforms

LMC leaders have demanded clarification for GPs over the updated Caldicott guidance, and to be indemnified against damages resulting from unauthorised access of patients’ information.

A motion calling for clear, practical guidelines for GPs with regards to the Caldicott Review, which recommended that ‘safe havens’ should be set up for access to potentially identifiable patient data, was passed.

Suffolk LMC’s Dr Godfrey Reynolds, who proposed the motion, said: ‘We have a duty to share and an increase in organisations seeking access to patients information and also wishing to add to GP-held records. We call on GPC, together with Dame Fiona Caldicott and GMC to clarify role of the GP as the main data controller, and to produce guidelines to protect patients and GPs.’

Haringay LMC’s Dr Martin Lindsay went further and called for indemnity for all GPs from NHS England as GPs would be responsible if a third party gained unauthorised access.

He said: ‘If NHS England are confident then let them put their money where their mouth is and indemnify us. It is conceivable someone might gain access, put info in the public domain and we will be implicated some way or other.’

GPC ICT subcommittee co-chair Dr Paul Cundy said the GPC was working to clarify the updated Caldicott guidance and fighting for indemnity for GPs.