Magazine article Public Finance

Warner Tries to Ease Security Fears over Patient Records

Magazine article Public Finance

Warner Tries to Ease Security Fears over Patient Records

Article excerpt

NHS staff who gain unauthorised access to patients' electronic records could be sacked, face criminal charges or be fined thousands of pounds, the Department of Health said this week.

In an effort to allay patients' fears that their care records would not be secure, the department released a 12-point pledge detailing how patients would retain control of the information. The brief electronic records, which will be launched next year, will be held on a central database, allowing retrieval wherever they are. More detailed notes will be held by patients' GPs.

Health minister Lord Warner insisted access to records would be on a 'need to know' basis, with smart cards and passwords needed to enter the system.

And he promised to take action against those who viewed records without good reason, including dismissal and criminal charges. …

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