George Freeman welcomes Government adoption of patients’ rights to patient data measures in Government Bill

George Freeman welcomes Government adoption of his Patient Rights to Patient Data Bill measures in a Government Bill. He calls for a debate on the importance of medical records in 21st century medicine.

George Freeman (Mid Norfolk) (Con): I welcome, and thank Ministers for, the news that the Government have adopted in a Government Bill a number of the key measures in my ten-minute rule Bill on patients’ rights to patient data, which hon. Members lucky enough to be drawn high in the ballot next week might like to consider—a Bill for the integration of health and care records for all patients across the NHS and the care sector, which is key to raising standards and preventing some of the appalling events that we saw uncovered through the Francis report. May we have a debate on the importance of medical records in three key areas: supporting research for 21st-century medicines; driving the revolution of accountability and transparency; and the revolution of empowerment, which is key to 21st-century medicine?

Mr Lansley: I hope my hon. Friend knows that I share his sense of how profoundly important the proper use of the UK’s asset—in fact, in this instance, England’s asset—that NHS data can be. When patients and the public generally are asked whether they are content for their data to be used to enable treatments and research to be promoted for all patients in future, as long as we give them the proper protection for their anonymity and confidentially, they are very much in favour. That is the point we are trying to get to.

My hon. Friend mentions something that will be important this coming week: that Back-Bench colleagues take every opportunity to put their names forward for the private Members’ Bill ballot. He instances one issue, but it would be very much in the interests of the people of this country if a number of others were brought forward under the banner of a private Member’s Bill.

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