GPs concerned about data collection

GPs and patients are concerned about the amount of personal data private sector suppliers to the NHS are collecting.

Censuswide and eConsult surveyed 250 GPs and 1,022 consumers that have used digital services such as online or video consultations in the last year.

More than half (53%) of GPs believe digital health providers need to be more transparent about what patient data they hold and how they plan to use it.

Figures also revealed that 53% of consumers were unaware some digital healthcare providers keep their personally identifiable information.

Almost half (48%) of digital health services users said they are ‘concerned’ about how their personal data may be used by private companies supplying GP surgeries.

‘It is absolutely vital that patients feel confident that their personal information is treated with complete privacy and security,’ said Dr David Brandon, clinical lead GP at Unity Healthcare.

‘Digital services have helped to transform patient access to general practice for the 21st century and have allowed general practice to continue to provide an exceptional level of service throughout the pandemic, despite all the challenges faced.

‘However, an essential human element of the doctor-patient relationship relies upon trust that their medical information will be handled sensitively and confidentially – and the use of third party digital services must absolutely not erode that trust.’