The government has announced its intention to take a copy of the entire GP-recorded medical history of patients in England from this summer – in part for commercial use.

There has been no public consultation on the plans, though some details have now been published by NHS Digital. The full list of sensitive information or ‘codes’ that the government will take is provided by medConfidential.

From 1 July 2021, not only will every patient’s GP medical history be copied, it will be automatically updated with every new medical event in their lives, including appointments.

This uploaded data will include sensitive information about patients, whose names will be converted into ‘pseudonyms’.

The government tried to force a similar data grab seven years ago, but was forced to back down by a huge public outcry. A new petition is attempting to force health secretary Matt Hancock into a similar climbdown.

Further information and a link to the petition can be found here.