In an interview with Channel Five News, Hunt said that local surgeries in particular should be the conduit for educating people about the scheme as an example of “better ways of communicating.”
Following last month’s news that the programme was to be delayed by six months after protests that there was not enough public knowledge, the health secretary says he will be using this time to persuade the public that sharing information is a good idea.
“We will find some better ways of communicating to the public, I think particularly through GPs, because I think the public do trust their GPs, and we need to communicate better through GPs,” Hunt claimed.
“But I think it’s worth having that six-month delay because this is so important scientifically and this is going to save so many lives that it’s really important that we carry the public with us,” he added.
Hunt also claimed that data sharing across hospitals has already been happening for 25 years and the only reason it has become a huge debate now is because the government introduced an opt-out policy.
The health secretary is not the only person who is attempting to gain public trust of the scheme. Professor Sir John Savill, head of the Medical Research Council, has called data sharing in the NHS a “no brainer.”
He claims care.data has the potential to change the game in health research and health care and only “consent fetishists” could object to the plans.