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Anger grows over the cost of GDPR to general practice

The new Data Protection Act (DPA), incorporating GDPR, has been in place for almost three months. Since then, the controversy over GP practices being unable to charge for Subject Access Requests (SARs) has only intensified.

 

In response, the BMA GP Committee has issued a call to arms to GP practices, urging them to contact their local MPs for help in tackling this growing issue.

Under the DPA 2018, patients have the right to request access to their own medical records under a Subject Access Request without charge. This includes situations where they give consent for a third party such as a solicitor or insurer to access the data.

A poll conducted by FPM showed that 72% of practice managers have seen a rise in Subject Access Requests since the implementation of GDPR in May.

Dr Paul Cundy, GP Committee policy lead for IT, has encouraged LMCs to adapt a letter written by Dr Paul Roblin Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire LMCs, and send it to their own MP. You can take a look at the letter by clicking here.

Speaking to Management in Practice, Dr Cundy said: ‘By exploiting changes in the law, companies who would once have had to pay out of their own pockets – such as solicitors and insurance firms – are bombarding practices with requests.

“'As a service not covered by the NHS contract it is unfunded, meaning GPs and their teams are effectively working for free, and crucially any time spent compiling what can often be lengthy reports is time taken away from direct patient care.”

Has your practice seen an increase in SARs since May? Do you plan to write to your local PM in a bid to help tackle the issue? Let us know in the comments section below. For more information, take a look at our article on GDPR and access to medical records.

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