BDA asks for data protection rethink

Government urged to drop plans requiring NHS providers to appoint data protection officers

30 March, 2018 / infocus
 Scottish Dental  

The British Dental Association (BDA) has asked the UK Government to prevent implementation of EU data regulations heaping unnecessary burdens on dental practices.

Writing on behalf of 40,000 dentists, 11,500 community pharmacies, and 19,000 optometrists and dispensing opticians, the BDA joined with the Optical Confederation and Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) to say the Data Protection Bill, as currently drafted, will mean significant extra costs for small providers.

The bill began its progress through the House of Commons on 5 March.

In a joint letter the groups have written to Minister for Digital and Culture Margot James asking her to drop plans that require all NHS providers to appoint a data protection officer (DPO). They say this goes beyond the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which requires a body to appoint a statutory DPO if it is a public authority or processes certain data “on a large scale”.

As it stands, small practices could be forced to hire additional staff or buy in additional services to fulfil this new requirement.

The BDA has estimated the set up and annual costs could add a further £2,000- 3,000 to the existing £22,000 compliance bill for single-handed dentists – who make up one in five of the NHS workforce.

Compliance cost for dentists have skyrocketed by over 1,000 per cent in the last decade. DPO costs would easily exceed the costs of core overheads such as professional indemnity and registration.

BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said: “Failure to get these regulations right will further undermine the sustainability of high street health providers.

“Single-handed family practitioners serve millions of patients, and are already under huge financial pressure. Treating them like large corporates and slapping on another £2,000 bill serves no one, and goes well beyond the intentions of the GDPR.

“We urge ministers to urgently rethink their plans. Neither the NHS nor our patients should have to pay the price for badly drafted legislation.”

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