Data-sharing deal for health checks

Social services’ and doctors’ leaders in Wales appear to have reached an agreement over data sharing which will allow people with learning difficulties access to better health care.

GPs had been unable to identify people with learning difficulties who were eligible for annual health checks because data protection rules had prevented social services departments passing on names and addresses of clients with learning difficulties.
But, following negotiations, social services departments will now write to people with learning difficulties asking for permission to share their details with doctors.

GPs would prefer to write to patients themselves but are likely to accept the plan in the interim.

Michael O’Leary, Welsh regional director at charity Leonard Cheshire, said the proposal struck the right balance between respecting confidentiality and ensuring people were aware of the health check.

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