HEALTH – MEDICAL RECORDS – 11 February 2014

Dr Julian Lewis: Does the hon. Gentleman believe, as I do, that the single most important point, which I hope that he will elaborate for us, is whether the identities of the people whose data are being stored are also being stored? If they are being stored, I am entirely with him; if they are not and only data without identity are being stored, there might be more to be said for the scheme. I am interested to know what he has to say.

[Mr George Mudie: That is an important intervention, and I will deal with that, because it gets to the nub of the matter. Health care improved, fine, but there must be a balance with the right of individuals to have their privacy. I will deal with that.]

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Dr Lewis: My hon. Friend the Member for Mid Norfolk (George Freeman) also referred to a major project involving people at the Maudsley hospital who had suffered serious mental illness. I want to hear from the Minister that there is no way under the sun that people who have suffered mental illness, for example, would find their data getting into the wrong hands. Without that guarantee, the project seems to be very dangerous.

[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Dr Daniel Poulter): In the time available, it is difficult to speak about detailed points. I apologise to my hon. Friend for that and I will write to him addressing some of the points that he raises. However, I can assure him that robust safeguards are already in place to protect patients with mental illness, and those safeguards will remain robust, if not more so under the systems that we will put in place.]