The headline in the Daily Mail said:
“NHS ‘bullies’ threaten to axe GP for keeping his patients’ records private”.
Hurrah for Dr. Gordon Gancz, a caring-sounding Oxfordsire GP. According to the story, his Practice website had put up a succinct and brilliant explanation of the latest initiative to come from the NHS, on his King Edward Surgery, Oxford, website notice board. This concerns THE NHS’s collection of our medical history, called care.data.
How he managed to collect all the information, I don’t know, as the NHS is being secretive. But there, in clear view, is a link through to the appropriate NHS website – and an explanation of why the Practice was so concerned on behalf of patients. Having tried, with not much success, to get a clear explanation from the NHS’s Press Office of what was happening (three weeks, five emails and eight phone calls before I received the official literature), I was very interested to read this.
Cost Far too much of our private data is floating around in cyber space, ready to be used by those with vested interests, thieves, pharmaceutical companies, etc. and the lack of official knowledge re care.data is worrying. The only clear info I can get is that so far it has cost to cash-strapped NHS £2.5 million to send out explanatory forms (which none of my neighbours has received)- and that’s just for the “44 million leaflets sent out to all household in UK”.
Funnily enough, no-one I know has received this.
Then Feb. 8th’s Daily Mail says cost to us so far is £50 Million – and the NHS cries poverty..
When I phone the Dept. Health’s Press Office (the NHS’s masters and seat of LaLa Lite [Minister Jeremy Hunt], they tell me they don’t know anything about care.data (they obviously haven’t received a leaflet through their letter box), but “I’ll Google this and give you their Press Office contact”.
Who might make money by using your data?
An IT industry guru told me he would be very, very concerned if he were aged 25 – 50, a car owner wanting an insurance quote, or medical insurance. And it worried him what use could be made of one’s medical data.
I have received two emails in last two days offering me 600 Euros (£500) OFF if I register immediately for a conference on sharing NHS data. As enquirers (drug companies, etc) will be handed our NHS number, our post code and area where we live, it won’t be difficult for companies to get our names very quickly. If you don’t believe me, how many emails have you received recently that you know are suspect? And mention things about you that you thought no-on knew? Where did they get your information from? It is incredibly easy to fbnd this data today, especially if the enquirer has a date of birth and area here someone lives – and giving them one’s NHS number makes it even easier (and why do enquirers need that?)
Dr. Gordon Gancz sounds a caring, sensible GP who bothered to investigate what the NHS were up to – and if the NHS are going to penalise him, I hope all the Undergrads, Graduates and Dons in Oxford rise up in his support. Now today comes news that other GPs who may follow suit are being threatened with the sack; others telling their MPs the NHS is using “Big Brother” tactics.
Isn’t it about time the NHS realised it is a health service set up for OUR benefit – and not a money-making service?