HC Deb 12 December 1979 vol 975 cc679-80W
Sir Raymond Gower

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland to what extent computerised data and records about patients are kept within his Department or by health authorities in Scotland; when this was authorised; which health authorities keep such records; and what safeguards have been prescribed by him.

Mr. Fairgrieve [pursuant to his reply, 26 November 1979, c. 455]

Details of the types of data and records about patients which are held on the Scottish Office computer are given in table A, and on Scottish Health Service computers in table B. Arrangements have been made at various dates since 1967 authorising the holding of these data on computers. All Scottish health boards may keep such records, but they operate under safeguards on confidentiality and security issued centrally on the advice of the privacy committee of the Scottish Health Service Planning Council. That committee has also examined and approved for its interest the stringent safeguards operated at the Scottish Office computer on the confidentiality and security of data held about patients. Moreover, the transfer of patient information from the Scottish Office computer can take place only on the authorisation of the director of the information services division of the Scottish Health Service Common Services Agency—a medical practitioner who is not a civil servant.

Table A—Types of Patient Records held on the Scottish Office Computer*

Scottish Hospital Inpatient Records

Scottish Maternity Hospital Inpatient Records

Scottish Mental Hospital Inpatient Records

Scottish School Health Records

Scottish Cancer Registration Scheme

Abortion Notifications

Handicapped Children's Register

Young Chronic Sick Census

* Details extracted from "Computers: Safeguards for Privacy" (Cmnd. 6354).

Table B—Types of Patient Records held on Scottish Health Service Computers

Scottish Hospital Inpatient Records (including maternity and mental hospital records)

Patient Lists for Prevention and Screening Procedures

Psychiatric Case Registers

Laboratory Records

Community Health Index.

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