Home | Politics | Joan Ryan MP raises concerns over deal to share medical records of Enfield patients.

Joan Ryan MP raises concerns over deal to share medical records of Enfield patients.

Joan Ryan MP

Joan Ryan MP has called on the Chief Executive of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust to provide assurances to Enfield patients about the security of their private medical records, following the announcement that the Trust’s data sharing agreement with Google has been extended.

AVRUPA/LONDON-Earlier this month, DeepMind – Google’s artificial intelligence company – and the Trust entered into a new five year partnership to develop a mobile app called Streams. The app intends to alert clinicians more quickly to potential medical emergencies and to save the time spent by doctors and nurses on paperwork.  The deal is an extension of an existing agreement between the Trust and DeepMind to help monitor abnormalities in patient’s blood tests, and to improve detection of acute kidney injury (AKI).However, concerns have been expressed by privacy campaigners that details on more than 1.6 million patients a year, who use Barnet, Chase Farm and Royal Free Hampstead’s hospitals, will be shared with DeepMind.




In her letter to the Chief Executive of the Royal Free London, David Sloman, Joan Ryan has asked the Trust to clarify exactly “what information will be shared with DeepMind, and what information DeepMind will have access to”.  Joan Ryan has also written to the Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, who is investigating the agreement, and has asked her “to establish whether there is any risk that the agreement breaches guidelines on patient confidentiality, consent and fair processing [of data]”.  




Joan Ryan MP, Labour Member of Parliament for Enfield North, said:




“Enfield residents have been in touch with me to raise their concerns about their medical records being shared with an organisation outside of the NHS, without any knowledge of what DeepMind will be doing with their information, and without their expressed consent being given.”




I welcome innovations which seek to improve patients’ health, free up doctors’ and nurses’ time and save NHS resources. However, we must ensure that advances in medical care do not come at the cost of undermining patient confidentiality.”