Local NHS bosses have dismissed fears that patient data being collated could be sold off to pharmaceutical companies.

NHS Norfolk and Waveney is currently in the process of creating an electronic patient record for the region's three main hospitals.

The multi-million-pound project will see paper-held patient records at the Norfolk and Norwich, James Paget and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals transferred into digital formats and made accessible to all three hospitals.

However, at a meeting this week health leaders were forced to dismiss worries that once the data is in electronic form it could be sold off to raise funds for the NHS.

Labour county councillor Brenda Jones, who sits on the Norfolk health overview and scrutiny committee, asked: "You're going to have an enormous amount of data about people and maybe a particular political party would think it would generate funds for health by selling some of the data to pharmacy companies or private health.

"What is being put in place to ensure that absolutely can not happen?"

Ian Riley, director of data at NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said: "The legal basis of sharing data precludes you from selling it and that is certainly not part of our strategy.

"Everything we are doing is around direct care for our patients or helping the system plan.

"We have no plans to sell any data and it would actually not be legal to do so."

Geoff Connell, head of ICT at Norfolk County Council said: "We have strong information governance function that sits across the partnership.

"Any strategic change in the desire to sell data - and we don't sell any at the county council - would have to go through committees."

Tricia D'Orsi, director of nursing, added: "GDPR rules prevent us from doing that and I am absolutely confident that this would not be able to happen."