Doctors do not believe patient data is safe, says poll

Nine out of 10 doctors do not believe the government can protect patient data online, according to a poll in the British Medical Association's newspaper, BMA News.

Nine out of 10 doctors do not believe the government can protect patient data online, according to a poll in the British Medical Association's newspaper, BMA News.

A massive 93% of 219 respondents said they were not confident patient data on the proposed NHS centralised database would be secure. Nor did they feel able to assure patients that their data was safe. Eight out of 10 doctors said they would not want their own data stored on the system.

The loss by the HM Revenue & Customs of two CDs with the personal details of 25 million child benefit claimants and the online disclosure of personal details of junior doctors who sought training posts under the MTAS system have left the profession sceptical, the paper said.

It quoted Wiltshire trainee cardiologist Dr Sally Simmons, whose personal details were exposed online, as saying, "I have received no apology from the Department of Health despite writing to the former health secretary [Patricia Hewitt]. I was also affected by the loss of the two child benefit CDs with my bank details on them. Not surprisingly, I have no faith in any form of IT security that this government proposes."

The questions

Do you have confidence in the government's ability to safeguard patient information on a national NHS database?

Yes - 6%

No - 93%

Do you feel you are in a position to assure patients that their data will be safe?

Yes - 4%

No - 90%

Would you want your own data stored in this way?

Yes - 9%

No - 81%




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