§ Sir Raymond Gower
asked the Secretary of State for Wales to what extent computerised data and records about patients are kept within his Department or by health authorities in Wales; when this was authorised; which health authorities keep such records; and what safeguards have been prescribed by him.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
On the authority of the Secretary of State computerised records of hospital patients including diagnosis, previously maintained by the Welsh hospital board, have been kept since 1974 by the Welsh health technical services organisation. Data which can identify a patient can be released only on the authority of a medical officer of the Welsh Office, with the written consent of the consultant responsible for the patient's clinical care. Since 1975 the Welsh health technical services organisation has simlarly been authorised to hold records to assist area health authorities in arranging immunisation programmes for children and, since 1978, records of patients awaiting treatment in a few general hospitals 461W to assist in planning admissions and clinical attendances. Area health authority staff are required to safeguard strictly the confidentiality of this and other patient data.