22 Apr 2010

Changes to your health records

Like me you may well have just received the booklet "Changes to Your Health Record". This propaganda leaflet has been sent to patients and claims that the controversial 'Summary Care Records system' is being introduced "to improve the safety and quality of patient care". The
leaflet does not spell out any of the dangers of data sharing and no opt-out form has been sent with the letters to patients.

Photo: Card from Russ - this database is another example of the creep towards evermore surveillance and what has been dubbed the 'database state' - see NO2ID cards here.

Regular blog readers will know of my concerns about this - 'the biggest IT project in the world' and already £10bn over budget - see here - it is also interesting to see growing concerns amongst the medical professions, many of whom were already against this move. The BMA have called for a suspension of the project - see also here doctors concerns.

The Daily Mail has been vocal on this issue with grave concerns about confidentiality - see here - indeed last month it emerged that as many as 140,000 non-medical staff, including porters, cleaners and receptionists have access to sensitive NHS patient files.

The NHS Confidentiality campaign which was set up to protect patient confidentiality and to provide a focus for patient-led opposition the government’s NHS Care Records System has a piece here about the start of the roll-out of these records. Infact the Department of Health has suspended the roll-out of the Summary Care Record (SCR) in the five strategic health authorities where accelerated implementation has been under way - not our area.

The leaflet states: "You can choose not to have an SCR if you want to. If you choose not to have an SCR, your health records will stay as they are now and you will not receive the benefits we have told you about." The roll-out has only been stopped because doctors were becoming alarmed at the cavalier way medical confidentiality was being assumed. The upload could be resumed at any point but opting-out now is still effective, so people who are concerned should still instruct their doctor in writing that they object to their records being put on the Spine until they positively tell him/her otherwise.
Links to opt-out forms:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having asked for a copy of the SCR information the NHS sent me the braille version. They clearly do not want people to know what is going on!