Earlier this week, the UK press reported that there have been over two million security breaches in the NHS since 2011, causing opposition to the data sharing plans to rise.
Besides this, The British Medical Association (BMA) called for a boost in public awareness of data sharing, highlighting research that revealed almost half of patients were unaware of the care.data plan.
The extraction of information from GP surgeries to a new centralised database was to begin in April, but will now be delayed until “the Autumn,” a statement from the health service confirmed.
“We have heard from patients, many GPs, their professional organisations and groups like Healthwatch,” said Tim Kelsey, national director for patients and information at NHS England.
“They have told use very clearly that patients need more time to learn about information sharing, the benefits and their right to object.
“[We] exist for patients and are determined to listen to what they tell us. We have been told very clearly that patients need more time to learn about the benefits of sharing information and their right to object to their information being shared.
“That is why we are extending the public awareness campaign by an extra six months,” he added.
In the extra six months, the NHS intends to make patients aware of the benefits of the new centralised system.
It claims it will ensure the highest standards of care and clinical safety are met consistently across the country, allow prompt action to be taken when standards drop, make sure the needs of those with long-term conditions are met and provide vital information to support research into new medicines.