NHS patients can now choose to delete electronic summaries of their treatment records from a new national medical database, UK newspaper The Guardian has reported.

The data protection policy decision was jointly taken by health service officials and the Information Commissioners Office.

The files, known as summary care records (SCRs), are being introduced as part of an NHS-wide initiative across the country to provide clinical staff with patient information.

Medical staff will have instant access to the summary of a patient’s past medication, adverse drug reactions, allergies and conditions.

Pilot schemes have begun in Bolton and Bury, with more than 280,000 SCRs created nationally.

According to the Department of Health, 98% of people who have had the advantages of SCRs explained to them are in favour of the scheme.