A new NHS computer database may threaten the privacy of patients' medical records, the BBC has learned.
A senior Department of Health civil servant said people would not be able to decide what details were stored.
Critics said this went against earlier government assurances that patients would be able to veto the information.
The DoH said people could still discuss with their doctor what details were recorded and control who could access them - except in an emergency.
The database, which is being installed as part of the NHS's 6.2bn pounds IT upgrade, allows staff to access medical records wherever someone is treated.
Experts have warned the final cost of the system could hit 31bn pounds.
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