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NHS 'barred' selling patient data for commercial use

The NHS is set to be legally barred from selling personal medical records for insurance and commercial purposes in a new drive to protect patient privacy, the Health Secretary will announce next week.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

According to The Telegraph, Jeremy Hunt will unveil new laws to ensure that medical records can only be released when there is a "clear health benefit" rather than for "purely commercial" use by insurers and other companies.

Ministers will also bolster criminal sanctions for organisations which breach data protection laws by disclosing people's personal data. Under a "one strike and you're out" approach, they will be permanently banned from accessing NHS data.