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Half a million 'de-identified' patients records to be shared in Bradford

Project says data will be safely stored at Bradford Teaching Hospital

The UK city of Bradford is to share the "de-identified" medical data of half a million patients from 88 GP surgeries across the region. We're told this will help improve treatments for frailty and childhood obesity.

Under the Connected Health City project, the data will be shared across two trusts, three clinical commissioning groups Bradford Council and the Sue Ryder charity for palliative care.

It will be accessed by primary, secondary and community services, research teams across the city, with the findings to be shared across other Northern cities through the Connected Health Cities network.

Professor John Wright, director of the Connected Yorkshire Connected Health City said: “We will be working with clinicians and patients to develop cutting edge approaches to how linked data can improve the quality and safety of health care we provide in the NHS.”

According to the release, data used in Bradford will be safely stored and analysed at Bradford Teaching Hospital and will only be accessed by approved professionals. All personal information like name and full date of birth will be removed before analysis.

However, last month it was revealed that medical records of 26 million patients could be subject to a security breach amid warnings that the IT system used by thousands of GPs is not secure.

The Information Commissioner is investigating concerns that records held by 2,700 practices that a facility that allows GPs to switch on “enhanced data sharing” on their computers would mean they can also be accessed by hundreds of thousands of workers across the country.

The head of the British Medical Association’s IT committee has written to all GPs who use SystmOne, owned by TPP, urging them to take “urgent action”.

“This is a serious issue with potentially huge implications for patients, GPs and TPP. At the moment GPs are at risk of complaints being made against them,” he told The Telegraph.

Coordinator of medConfidential Phil Booth said: "Patients should know how their records are used, what their consent choices are, and be able to see the claimed outcomes for them and their communities - it’s the patients who will know if this is real." ®

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