A YORK family doctor says he fears for patient confidentiality under the Government’s plans for the future of the NHS.

Acomb GP Brian McGregor, vice chairman of the North Yorkshire branch of the Local Medical Committee, said private medical records may have to be shared with local authorities as they take on more public health responsibilities.

Under the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill, local councils would be given control of areas such as commissioning carers or running health awareness campaigns.

Dr McGregor said: “They will not only have access to your medical records but be able to disclose it for any number of undisclosed reasons.”

He said: “You might be asking for help with bus tokens or a discount on your council tax and they might actually know your health details.

“The council might actually know more about your health than you have reported.”

Dr McGregor was speaking after the British Medical Association (BMA) said “urgent action” was needed to prevent patient confidentiality being undermined by reforms.

Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA’s director of professional activities, said: “By failing to put in place proper safeguards, the Government is potentially removing the control doctors and, most importantly, patients have over their confidential data.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “Our modernisation plans will make it easier for patients to see where unacceptable NHS services are being provided. Shining a light on poor performance will drive up the quality of care overall.

“However, there is no question of the Health and Social Care Bill undermining the confidentiality of patients and their clinicians. The Bill does not change any of the existing legal safeguards, which are set out in the Data Protection Act and the common law of confidence.”