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Bradford Council health chief’s hacking fears over medical records on net
2:00pm Saturday 2nd March 2013 in Local news
Bradford Council’s health chief has condemned plans to give patients online access to their medical records, saying he fears they could be targeted by internet hackers.
Coun Mike Gibbons (Con, Ilkley), chairman of the council’s health overview and scrutiny committee, said he was concerned NHS Yorkshire’s proposal to make personal health records available was “not the safest of ideas” and didn’t believe security could be guaranteed.
The NHS is inviting views from patients about its plan, which it says will encourage people to be more proactive about managing their health.
But Coun Gibbons said: “Given that patients have access to their records via their GP surgery, I’m not sure placing them online is the safest of ideas.
“It’s a concern that internet security is not as strong as everyone would wish and adding such records to all the information that’s out there means they are there for other people to hack into.
“We hear of banks being targeted by hackers and I don’t believe secure is secure where the internet’s concerned.”
The NHS is holding an event at Leeds City Museum in Millennium Square from noon to 4.15pm on Friday, March 22, where patients can give their opinions on the proposal.
Coun Gibbons believed patients should be allowed to opt out if they did not want their records on the web.
“People should really build a relationship with their doctor and surgery and go to them with any questions they want answering.”
Dave Lang, programme director for the Heath Informatics Service, said the Government wanted every GP practice in England to be in a position where it could offer patients online access to their records by 2015. “The NHS aims to empower patients by providing them with more information than ever before, including everyone having access to their medical records,” he said.
“We want to do this in a way that meets the population’s needs, so we’d like people to come and share their thoughts with us and help us design a modern health service for everyone.”
The public are invited to the consultation, where they will hear about NHS plans for the future and get the chance to share their experiences.