Wednesday, February 5, 2014

An honourable man

Like many others, I chose to opt out of the NHS scheme to harvest my private medical data and sell it on to interested parties use it to identify poor care. If I trusted the NHS with my data it might have been a different story, however knowing the mission creep which happens in public bodies along with the NHS's recent history with 'clerical errors' I do not believe for one second my data is safe with them.
Still it comes as a surprise that two GP's (one remains anonymous) have decided that they too do not trust the NHS with their patients details.
A rebel GP faces having his practice shut down after vowing to opt all of his patients out of a flagship NHS scheme to harvest their medical records.
Under the scheme, private medical information will automatically be extracted from patients’ records unless they opt out.
But there are growing concerns over the data collection project, with critics saying the public has not been properly informed about it.
And yesterday it emerged that Health Service bosses threatened to shut down Dr Gordon Gancz’s GP surgery because he pledged to keep his patients’ details off the database.
Dr Gancz, who has been at his Oxford practice for almost 40 years, accused the NHS of using ‘blatant bullying’ tactics to ‘bulldoze’ doctors and patients into complying with the scheme.
The GP told how he was sent a ‘threatening’ email warning him that he would be ‘in breach of his contract’ if he did not automatically opt his patients in to the scheme.
He said it also contained the ‘Big Brother-ish’ demand that he remove a statement on his surgery’s website which warned patients that he was ‘concerned’ about the scheme and told them: ‘We have decided to assume that all our patients wish to opt out of this data extraction.’
It's interesting that the NHS believes it has a right to such data and that they've chosen to go on the offensive over a doctor choosing to opt out his entire practice. Again and again we have learned that public bodies such as the DVLA  have on occasion sold details to private companies about those who use their system. Simply put, public services and institutions are like many private companies lax with their customers private details in that they see no problem with selling it to those who make an offer for it.
Now whilst the NHS will only use your date of birth and NHS number to identify the people on the database there are ways and means to get around this and sooner or later you just know that your area will be targeted by someone using the database as a statistically relevant fund of knowledge to sell you health aids. I did notice when I turned 50 that the sheer amount of junk mail selling me stuff for pensions and funerals went through the roof along with adverts for prestige motoring the insurer for over 50's.
Put it this way, if it's out there sooner or later the NHS will be tempted to sell it on and it will come back to bite you.
The record speaks for itself...

10 annotations:

English Pensioner said...

Last month I had a rather nice e-mail congratulating me on reaching my 113th birthday, the result of my putting down my d.o.b as 1/1/1901 on some website because I thought it was nothing to do with them!

Anonymous said...

According to a survey, over 40% of GPs had already opted their own and families medical records out of this database by the end of January.

Edward Spalton said...

You're a touch off topic, I think!
With regard to GPs in NHS practice - their character has changed utterly. The original arrangement was that the state paid so much per patient of his" panel" . The doctor exercised his clinical judgement with regard to the patient and that was it.

Now they are driven by targets of all sorts, almost as if they were civil servants. I recently had an invitation to go for a measles jab as a precaution against shingles. As a friend suffered very badly with this, I was pleased to go. But I found that my wife did not qualify because her age is slightly different from mine. I asked the nurse what she thought about that. "We're not allowed to think" she said. Quite.

Quiet_Man said...

I've removed Steve's comments, he can blog on what he likes elsewhere, but not spam here.

Tom Mills said...

Recently a friend attended hospital with mobility related problems. The day after, a firm rang him to try & sell him a wheelchair plus other mobility aids. The only source of his problem details was the hospital or possibly his G.P. He has complained.

Twenty_Rothmans said...


Same thing with baby gear happened to a friend of mine - she was spammed for months.

As she'd miscarried, she wasn't that impressed.

Longrider said...

I've opted out and have blogged about the monstrosity. My own GP has been pretty supportive, expressing concern about the data mining going on.

Longrider said...

've removed Steve's comments,

Good Lord! You had better not let Rickie the idiotic Troll find out. He'll be whining like a jet engine that you have denied someone their freedom of speech. Chortle.

Quiet_Man said...

Rickie at leasdt sticks to the subject, this Guy Steve posted reams of Christian outreach propaganda without mentioning the subject line once. Basically he was a spammer, not a troll.

Longrider said...

Indeed he does - I'll grant him that. I missed Steve's comments - but I would have done likewise for the same reasons and deleted them. However, my tongue in cheek comment reflected Richie's mistaken insistence that doing so is some form of censorship.