Dentists, opticians and pharmacies have joined forces to highlight the costs of the ‘botched’ Data Protection Act.
Speaking to the Government, the British Dental Association, the Optical Confederation and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, have said the Data Protection Bill will add significant extra costs to small providers.
In a joint letter, the groups have called on Minister for Digital and Culture, Margot James, to drop plans requiring NHS providers to appoint a data protection officer, which goes beyond requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
‘Failure to get these regulations right will further undermine the sustainability of high street health providers,’ Mick Armstrong, BDA chair, said.
‘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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The BDA estimates that this new Bill could end up costing dental practices an extra £2,000-£3,000 annually.
The association believes the changes proposed in the Data Protection Bill will require some small practices to hire additional staff or services.
‘We strongly share the BDA’s concern about the impact of the Bill,’ Fiona Anderson, chair of the Optical Confederation, said.
‘The new requirement would not provide any practical benefit for patients.
‘And it would create a new and unnecessary regulatory burden and cost for optical practices.
‘We therefore hope Ministers will exempt primary care providers from these requirements.’