back to article GPs blow whistle to watchdog on patient record privacy threat

The UK's data protection watchdog has highlighted concerns it has with a new information-sharing initiative that has begun operating in the health sector in England. Earlier this week a new Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established with the power to require health bodies to hand over "any information" …

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Black Helicopters

Hunt's vision for digital medical records

I want to know whether MPs' & their families' medical records will be on the same system, with no more security than the rest of us get, or whether they will get special protection.

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Anonymous Coward

The HSCIC isn't really new. It is a renamed / branded NHS Information Centre, although it previously didn't gather primary care (your GPs) records. What it did already do was gather secondary care (hospital admissions, A&E etc) and so already had all that data. This data was then accessible by PCTs for financial purposes / analysis and also by anyone else who coughed up the relevant funds and was deemed worthy. With the latest attempts to demolish the NHS however only the HSCIC has the legal right to access this non pseudonymised secondary care data. Not even the CCGs can currently do so due to yet another monumental DoH cock up and so GPs are currently being told they can't see the data for their own patients.

These third parties being talked of are the providers of the GP computer systems, the developers of things like SystmOne. It is my, possibly erroneous understanding as they might have a web based version now, that the only involvement they have is in writing the code to push the data to the HSCIC from their software.

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Anonymous Coward

I used to work for a company who provided the software to send data between hospitals, PCTs, GPs and the NHS and the data is sent without name / address but does use the NHS number so that episodes can be tracked if needed.

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Anonymous Coward

Privacy and the NHS? Don't make me laugh...

If you are under the impression that your medical data is safe within the NHS, you haven't worked for them. We receive at least one unencrypted record of patient data a week over ordinary email.

The staff are poorly trained and encryption software is non-existent.

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Silver badge

Require and request

"the Health and Social Care Information Centre has the power ... ‘to require and request provision of information’"

I have the power to require and request £10M, but I don't seem to be getting it. Check out Henry IV part 1:

Glendower I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Hotspur Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?

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Silver badge
Go

We solved this in America...

By having doctors that are just too damn stupid to operate computers.

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Gold badge
Big Brother

A note on the history NHS number

When it was founded a way was needed to issue everyone with a number.

The number is derived from the wartime identity card number.

This smells like a late day data grab.

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Anonymous Coward

Nurse: Draw the curtains!

Confidentiality in the NHS is currently on the Liverpool Care Pathway. All the ICO is trying to do is make sure that the curtains are drawn round the bed in which it is being given a deliberate overdose of morphine.

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FAIL

So, do we get to opt out of this one too?

I have already had to fill in 2 or 3 separate forms to opt out of having my medical data on "The Spine"; apparently one was not enough, they needed to hear it from me a bunch of times before they believed me. Are we now saying I have another bunch of opt-outs to sign to get out of this one as well ... despite making my wishes on the subject of my primary care data known to my GP .. up close, in person and in very understandable words.

At what point to they start to *Get It" ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So, do we get to opt out of this one too?

I'm sorry, you appear to be under the misapprehension that you're being provided with "choice". You opted out last time... this was evidently the incorrect choice, so this time it's mandatory!

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