Monday, 17 February 2014
Adults 'unaware of NHS data plans'
Fewer than a third of adults recall getting a leaflet about changes to the handling of medical records, a poll for BBC Radio 4's PM programme suggests.
The NHS in England is set to collect data on patient care by GPs for the first time, uploading some of the information to a database.
Leaflets explaining the scheme, and how to opt out, should have been sent to 26.5 million households in January
But only 29% of 860 adults polled by ICM Research recalled getting one.
According to the poll, about 45% of people remain unaware of the plan to share some data from GP medical records.
Prof Nigel Mather, of the Royal College of GPs, which supports the scheme, said it reinforced its view that "more effort" was required to increase awareness.
Dr Neil Bhatia, a GP who is critical of the project and has worked to raise awareness, said: "The low numbers receiving a leaflet confirm the suspicions of very many GPs, including myself, that NHS England's public information programme has been a absolute shambles."
Patients group Healthwatch has called for a pause to the programme while patient concerns are addressed.
More on this BBC story here.