Sunday, December 03, 2006

Piss off Patsy

Patricia Hewitt wants to know who doesn't want her department to have access to their medical records. Sir Liam Donaldson is the rotweiler that is putting the bite on GPs to release the names and addresses of those people who don't want their medical records putting on the national spine. So you can't ask for confidentiality on confidence!

In the meantime the government is handing over the names and addresses of patients to Mori so that they can send out questionnaires. Anyone concerned aboout keeping visits to their GP confidential should email with their name and NHS number before Friday the 8th. Another Public Service Announcement from Aberystwyth No2ID.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Send your GP a christmas card

Or at least send them the letter here:

The Big Opt Out

expressing your desire to not have your details added to the NHS spine.

The latest Medix poll shows that 52% of GPs would not upload their patients' records to the spine, and only 13% would be willing to proceed without consent. An even more recent survey by JRRT shows that 53% of patients are opposed to automatic uploading of their records, with only 27% in favour.

The text of the letter is as follows:

Exercising right to opt out

Dear Doctor,

As you are probably aware, the Government is intending to ask you to transfer the electronic medical records of your patients onto a national database called the “spine”. They intend you to do this without first seeking the consent of your patients. It is BMA policy that patients should give their individual consent prior to their information being transferred on to the national database.

There are substantial concerns about the privacy and confidentiality of information transferred onto the national database, not least because promised software security safeguards called “sealed envelopes” will not be in place and because the patient’s instructions with regard to who may access the records can be overridden. I do not believe that such a large database, with so many staff users, can be regarded as secure.

I would be grateful if you would ensure that none of my records held by you are entered onto the national system. Would you please also file or scan a copy of this letter in my records and also record my dissent by entering the “Read code” - ‘93C3. - Refused consent for upload to national shared electronic record.’ into my computer record. I am aware of the implications of this request and will notify you should I change my mind.

This request is itself confidential. Please do not divulge my decision, in an identifiable manner, to anyone other than to clinicians who are providing care to me and who might otherwise place information about me on the national care records service.

Further information for GPs is available online at

Yours sincerely,

There are pdf, text and word versions you can customise and print.

Next Meeting

Tuesday December the 5th, 8pm, upstairs in the Cambrian Hotel (oppposite the station).