Patients will be able to add comments into their care records from March 2018 under new plans to make the NHS fully digital by 2020.

The plans are set out in Personalised Health and Care 2020, a framework for action developed by the pan-NHS National Information Board.

The National Information Board includes senior figures the Department of Health, NHS England, and all other major DH arm’s length bodies and health regulators.

The board set out wide ranging proposals including plans new roles for NHS regulators to take action against trusts failing to hit new technology targets and for the NHS to host a new app store.

The blueprint said all individuals will be able “to view their care records and to record their own comments and preferences on their record, with access through multiple routes including NHS Choices” by March 2018.

Fiona Caldicott

Dame Fiona Caldicott is to get a new role as ‘national data guardian for health and care’

Patients “won’t have the ability to edit the entries their clinician has made but their comments will be visible”, it added. The move builds on an existing commitment for citizens to have online access to their GP records by 2015.  

The focus will initially be on data held by NHS providers but it will be progressively extended to cover other care settings, including local authorities, personal records and giving patients the ability to plug in their own devises.

The document said: “The National Information Board will publish a road map for implementation by June 2015, which will then be integrated into commissioning and regulatory arrangements, where appropriate.”

The board will oversee the launch of “a national experiment to give patients a personalised, mobile care record which they control and can edit but which is also available in real time to their clinicians”.

The document said the board recognised “independent oversight and scrutiny” would be vital to build public trust in the way that people’s information is used and protected.

To support this goal, information governance campaigner Dame Fiona Caldicott is being given a new role as “national data guardian for health and care” with a remit to provide public and transparent scrutiny and challenge about the safe use of personal health and care information.

The DH said it would “seek to place the role of the national data guardian on a statutory footing… at the first suitable legislative opportunity”.

National tech blueprint sets greater role for regulators