Today, at their Conference, the Liberal Democrats have backed ambitious plans to safeguard private health data.
The party is calling for the establishment of a five-point ‘Health Data Charter’, which will set out key tests for whether data sharing is in the interest of the public and the NHS.
They also propose a ‘Sovereign Health Data Trust’, which would bring together experts, clinicians and patient representatives to oversee the implementation and observance of the new charter.
Commenting on the proposals, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said: “In an increasingly digital world, it’s important that we understand how companies and organisations are able to access and manage our personal data – particularly health information.
“Sadly, this current Government is refusing to be honest with people about how they’re handling their personal data. Their attempts to sneak out a new GP data sharing scheme is just one example of their disregard for transparency and undermines trust.
“That’s why the Liberal Democrats have set out a clear and ambitious plan on how to better handle people’s personal health data and ensure that it is used for the public good – whilst also protecting people’s privacy.
“Our ‘Sovereign Health Data Trust’ will guarantee that all health data is properly handled and that it is used for the right purposes, such as developing better treatments and medicines and not just passed on or sold off to marketing and insurance firms.
“By putting in place these clear safeguards, we can ensure that all parts of the NHS can access this vital information without compromising the security and privacy of those it affects.”