The database that will store all of England’s health records has a series of “backdoors” that will allow police and government bodies to access people’s medical data.
David Davis MP, a former shadow home secretary, told the Guardian he has established that police will be able to access the health records of patients when investigating serious crimes even if they had opted out of the new database, which will hold the entire population’s medical data in a single repository for the first time from May.
In the past, Davis said, police would need to track down the GP who held a suspect’s records and go to court for a disclosure order. Now, they would be able to simply approach the new arms-length NHS information centre, which will hold the records. “The idea that police will be able to request information from a central database without a warrant totally undermines a long-held belief in the confidentiality of the doctor-patient relationship,” he said.