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Data protection stops CCGs fulfilling functions


8 July 2013

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Data privacy laws are preventing clinical commissioning groups from fulfilling their statutory functions, NHS England has been warned. 
In a letter sent to NHS England, NHS Clinical Commissioners said that rules about accessing patient data are stopping CCGs from ensuring safe care. 
A “lack of clarity” around the guidance means there is a risk that CCGs may be acting unlawfully. 

Data privacy laws are preventing clinical commissioning groups from fulfilling their statutory functions, NHS England has been warned. 
In a letter sent to NHS England, NHS Clinical Commissioners said that rules about accessing patient data are stopping CCGs from ensuring safe care. 
A “lack of clarity” around the guidance means there is a risk that CCGs may be acting unlawfully. 
GPs will be unaware which patients are being admitted multiple times, the letter claims, meaning they cannot arrange better care for the individuals. 
According to the letter, CCGs seem to have no legal right to validate invoices, leading to “significant financial risk”. 
Confidential data can only be used for the purposes of “direct patient care”, but the letter claims commissioners are unclear what CCG duties that covers. 
NHS England has yet to comment. 

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