SIR – Harry de Quetteville’s piece, “The NHS must have – and share – your data” (Comment, January 9), makes a rarely heard argument: sharing patient data improves care and saves lives.
Whether it’s for improving services, undertaking research or delivering better care, the sharing of data benefits us all. While the Government and NHS bodies must respond to legitimate public concern about the security of data, they also need to do more to make the case for sharing it.
In this context, we welcome the announcement that the national patient survey programme will be exempted from the data optout. This means that these worldleading surveys will continue to provide vital intelligence on the quality of care offered by the NHS and ensure that patient feedback shapes improvements. This decision underlines the importance of sharing patient data. Now the Government and NHS bodies need to ensure that the message is heard. Harry Evans
Policy Researcher, The King’s Fund London W1