AN OXFORD GP who said he will defy NHS plans to collect patient data has said the proposal’s six-month delay will not change public feeling.

Dr Gordon Gancz, King Edward Street Surgery GP, said a lack of communication had angered people about proposals to start a new NHS data-sharing scheme.

Records will be passed on to NHS England, unless patients opt out, but the information will now start being collected in the autumn – six months later than scheduled.

Dr Gancz said: “My view is that the whole system has been damaged by this lack of communication.

“There is a lot of anger out there. I have had lots of letters and emails about it.

“First of all, they need to see that all the patient identification has been removed before they leave the practices.

“Two, make it an opt-in system, not an opt out system, so we can explain the benefits of this but also the risks of this database.

“Thirdly, they need to send to everyone a proper letter explaining it.”

Tim Kelsey, national director for patients and information at NHS England, said: “NHS England exists for patients and we are determined to listen to what they tell us. We have been told very clearly that patients need more time to learn about the benefits of sharing information and their right to object to their information being shared.

“That is why we are extending the public awareness campaign by an extra six months.”