How would you feel if your local supermarket had access to your medical notes? That might not be far off, according to the news this morning.
The Telegraph reports:
High street pharmacies such as Boots, Tesco and Superdrug will be given access to NHS medical records, under a national scheme which privacy campaigners fear could expose patients to “hard sell” tactics.
Health officials have drawn up plans to send sensitive data from GP surgeries to pharmacies across the country, starting this autumn, without considering the views of patients.
The idea seems that the scheme could help reduce waiting times at GP clinics, easing pressure on doctors and making it possible to get medical treatment quickly and easily at your local supermarket.
But, understandably, critics say "major commercial chains" might "exploit the valuable data" and use it to put the hard sell on certain products and medicines.
How would you feel about supermarkets and pharmacies having access to your medical history, and being able to market products to you based on that information?
Campaigners also say the scheme has not been run past enough patients to gauge their feelings on it, with only 15 patients having been given the opportunity to comment on it.
Pharmacists will have to ask for permission to view the records, and can only do so during interactions with patients, such as when they submit a repeat prescription.
We'd love to hear what you think of this - come and share your views over on our Facebook page or leave a comment below to join in with the debate.