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The Health Experiences Institute (HEXI) and Healthwatch Oxfordshire co-host care.data debate.

Hexi hosts leading public debate on nhs patient data sharing
The forum will allow people to voice their concerns, as well as get answers to some of the questions raised by data sharing.
- Dr Siân Rees, Director of the University of Oxford Health Experiences Institute, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.

If, and how, we share information about our health is important to all of us. This event gives people in Oxfordshire the opportunity to explore and discuss with national experts the pros and cons of sharing our health information and the NHS’s proposed new electronic system of patient data sharing, care.data.

Care.data, announced earlier this year, is an electronic system that would allow the NHS, approved researchers and other organisations to use confidential information from patient medical records to improve services. The system was due to launch on 1st April 2014, but since many patients were unaware it was being introduced, or did not fully understand what it was or how it would affect them, the launch was delayed. A public consultation about the proposed system and potential benefits is now underway and this debate will form part of this consultation. The debate will provide an opportunity for members of the audience to ask questions and contribute their own views so that the issue can be explored from a wide variety of perspectives.

By co-hosting this public event, Healthwatch Oxfordshire and the University of Oxford Health Experiences Institute hope to increase public awareness about sharing health data, in particular via the care.data programme. The event will help people to make informed decisions about how their data is used, based on a clear understanding of the issues.

Dame Fiona Caldicott, chair of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and of the Independent Information Governance Oversight Panel, is chairing the debate.

 The panel speakers are:

  •  John Appleby, Chief Economist at the King’s Fund and member of the care.data Advisory Group
  • Phil Booth, Coordinator, medConfidential
  • John Carvel, former Guardian journalist and member of the Healthwatch England National Committee and of the Independent Information Governance Oversight Panel

Rachel Coney, CEO of Healthwatch Oxfordshire, comments:

“Listening to public views on changes to health and care services is key to ensuring that the NHS delivers the best possible service to their patients. This public debate, which we are co-hosting with the University of Oxford Health Experience Institute, will give the people of Oxfordshire the chance to discuss both the benefits and challenges of the care.data programme with some of the best informed people in the country.

Healthwatch Oxfordshire continually uses the public’s experiences of health and care services to ensure their voice is heard by those who commission and deliver health services, so we encourage the public to attend the event to have their voice heard.”

Dr Siân Rees, Director of the University of Oxford Health Experiences Institute adds:

“We are delighted to welcome speakers, who are leading the debate nationally, to Oxfordshire. If and how we share information about our health matters to us all and we are pleased to co-host with Healthwatch Oxfordshire a public debate on such an important issue. The forum will allow people to voice their concerns, as well as get answers to some of the questions raised by data sharing.”