Give data sharing partnerships a chance – by Pamela Cook

by Victoria Thomason

08 Feb 2017

I was drawn to an article today on, on the topic of ‘NAO: ‘Confusing’ data-sharing rules are a major barrier to health and care integration‘.

The issues here are in common across many data sharing initiatives, such as safeguarding and the identification of our society’s most vulnerable citizens. However, what the article has not recognised, in my opinion, is the fact that there are a number of data sharing partnerships where the barriers (perceived or otherwise) around how a citizen’s or patient’s details are shared have been very successfully overcome.

In these examples, the agreements are in place between the organisations, the data is cleansed, matched and linked together (with full audit trails) and the results shared on an agreed basis. There are excellent local partnerships which have importantly led to lives being saved, early interventions identified and ROI being realised.

I struggle to understand why the same theme is continually being raised as the reason not to share, when the evidence exists for how to do it successfully and effectively – whilst fully complying with legislation and more importantly, protecting and safeguarding our citizens.