NHS European Office

Free movement of data

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Further to the approval of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, the European Commission released additional initiatives which could impact on the NHS.

The Commission has proposed an initiative to look at the proven or potential blockages to the free movement of data across the EU, and presents opportunities to remove unjustified or disproportionate data location restrictions. 

In its framework for data access, the Commission proposes the concept of a ‘public interest and scientific purpose’ clause, where public authorities could be granted access to data where this would be in the "general interest" and would considerably improve the functioning of the public sector. This could have an impact on NHS access to machine generated data which could support the management of health and care services. 

A public consultation was carried out on the proposed framework in early 2017. Details of the results of the consultation and next steps can be found here

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