Responding to the publication of a draft UK data adequacy decision by the European Commission, Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said:
“The publication of the draft UK data adequacy decision by the European Commission is welcome as it is a first step towards securing the continued free flow of personal data between the UK and EU that is vital for the NHS. We hope this decision will go on to be adopted and that the NHS can continue to benefit from access to EU data to support the development of new treatments and to improve patient safety and care across Europe.
“A UK data adequacy decision is vital for the health sector, as it helps to address cross-border health threats such as COVID-19 and facilitate quick and effective information exchanges between regulators. It also enables UK and EU researchers to cooperate on clinical trials and other health research with the potential to save lives.
“With a data adequacy agreement, NHS organisations will be able to continue safely transferring personal data as they do now, without having to resort to costly and burdensome alternative transfer mechanisms.
“Protecting the benefits of the free flow of data must be a top priority to safeguard NHS health care, research and patients.The NHS Confederation will continue to advocate on behalf of our members to secure EU approval and with it a finalised UK data adequacy decision.”