George Freeman MP: Ten Minute Rule Bill Statement

My Ten Minute Rule Bill published today (read it here), which I introduced to the House in November, is a Bill about patient empowerment. I believe that healthcare is changing from something done to you by Government, to something we increasingly all take responsibility for ourselves. Patients have been patient for too long. 21st-century healthcare is all about choice and accountability. It is, quite simply, a new dawn of medicine.
It is being driven by patient data and online information. While many recipients of our healthcare system are currently elderly, very quickly NHS users will expect the same level of access to information in health as they do in every other part of their lives. Whilst challenging, this is a very exciting development for healthcare. But it requires a new way of thinking, focused on patient needs and, in many areas of data, concerns over confidentiality.
NHS England’s botched handling of illustrates the fact that today’s users no longer have blind faith in public institutions. It is therefore all the more important that this new model of healthcare is developed within a robust framework of patient rights.
A Ten Minute Rule Bill is a mechanism for raising just such issues. In my speech introducing the Bill, I set out what 21st-century healthcare will look like and how we need to prepare for it. (Read my speech <a href="" target="_blank"><u>here</u></a>.)
My Bill also contains specific measures that would help build trust:
  • The principle that patient records belong to patients
  • That patients should have the free right of access
  • That the NHS, GPs, hospitals and the care sector have a duty to keep our records up to date
  • That we should make it easier for patients to use their EPRs to enrol in clinical research work with patient groups, track care pathways, access health outcomes data on local NHS services and plug into a growing number of health apps
In light of the fiasco of NHS England’s handling of, I have also set out a series of additional safeguards to prevent the inappropriate release or use of data without patient consent and called for the project to be put on a statutory footing with annual reporting to Parliament and much heavier sanctions against misuse of
The Bill has the support of over 75 medical research charities as well as several leading clinicians. The cross-party campaign group Patients4Data – of which I am Parliamentary founder – has also been started alongside the Bill to highlight the importance of patient data in empowering patients, driving transparency and transforming the research landscape.
Please visit, leave a comment and join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #Patients4Data.




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George Freeman in Westminster


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