Are there limits to what personal information should be given to private firms?

Apparently not (via the BBC):

Private health firms could be given access to anonymous NHS patient records and other NHS data, under plans to be unveiled by David Cameron.

Making such data available would help the British life sciences sector become a world leader and boost the economy, the government believes.

It hopes in return that the government would save money and the NHS would get faster access to new treatments.

Patient Concern said the plan signalled the “death of patient confidentiality”.

The prime minister, due to make a keynote speech on the plans in London on Monday, is expected to give life science companies more freedom to run clinical trials inside hospitals.

The government says that the cradle-to-grave principle of the NHS means it has some of the most detailed and comprehensive patient data in the world.


Ministers believe Britain can become a world leader in the field of life sciences because of the vast expertise within the NHS and its strong university-based research.

The industry already employs 160,000 people in 4,500 companies, with a turnover of …£50bn a year.

Under the plans, NHS records would be made anonymous, but it is not clear whether private firms would have to pay to access them.

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