The NHS is busy collecting our data, under a system they call care.data (very trendy and modern, using lower case – ‘they’ think it makes them look up-to-date). Officially this scheme is to ensure that any medical professional can find out what previous illnesses we have had.
So how does it work? Do you have a store loyalty card? Well, the NHS data card (or whatever trendy name the NHS is now thinking up) will work the same way.
Whenever you visit your Health Centre, Hospital, GP or any other NHS outlet, your data will be recorded. Then, like a store card, clever little gnomes in computers will madly process data – and when they have finished number-crunching you could find your personal information lying on top of a rubbish heap – or if you are lucky you might be in line for a free tube of toothpase dropping through your letter-box.
Any companies will be able to access this data; so far the NHS is being very coy about what this will cost them.
The HCSIS (Health and Care Social Information Centre) is yet another ‘Agency’ set up by the inept Dept. Health (or perhaps the NHS) to waste money with another scheme to interfere with our health care. Although the Dept. Health is supposed to oversea our healthcare, their press office denies all knowledge of the scheme when I phone to ask; not surprising, in view of what happens next.
But no-one wants to give out info; although apparently 45 million leaflets have dropped through our letter boxes. But like the appointment letters I never seem to receive, I haven’t received this info, so try to find out more.
Finally, after a lot of faffing and fuffing, I look up their website set up to supposedly give us reassuring information (more money wasted?): see there is an email address for enquiries – so fire off an email. Back shoots an official reply saying this email box is no longer in use.
So more faffing etc. and I get another address – start again and back comes an email with a NUMBER of my Complaint, and a promise to get back to me.
That was Ten days ago.
In the meantime I send three emails to the ‘new’ email asking why they are using a defunct email address on their website. No answer. But I see it has finally been changed!
In the meantime journalist colleagues, from the Daily Telegraph. Sunday papers etc. all seem dubious about this new data, and what it will be used for. Apparently we, as the Patients/owners of the information can’t find out what is recorded unless we make an appointment with our GP (they are going to love this) and go in to see them, when we are going to be allowed to check it is all correct (in ten minutes allocated?).
Or we can opt out
We have to do this – can’t just say we don’t want to be included, or allow the NHS to sell our info to Pharmaceutical companies, etc. my GP’s receptionist has had so many patients phone to complain that she – bless her – sends out a form for us to fill in.
And that is what I have decided to do. I may be hindering medical science, but when our local hospital doesn’t even have time to access my records, so prescribes medicine that is dangerous for me, I fail to believe that they will have time to access my data from a far-away central post. I don’t see why drug companies should have the benefit of my data. And I don’t want my data winging its way around the world to enable a foreign Call Centre to cold call me to sell me something. So I am opting out.
But why should my GP’s Receptionist have to waste time and money sending out a form for us, one wonders. And how much is the costing the cash-strapped NHS?