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Health Direct asks if you are happy for your private medical records to open to all?

Health Direct asks you to lobby parliament if you don’t want your medical details to be available to all. Please send labour a clear message about the use of patient information.

NHS Connecting for Health (NHS CFH) is conducting a consultation on the wider use of patient information (see http://tinyurl.com/6l2goc). Details of the consultation are at
http://www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/systemsandservices/research/consultation

The consultation relates to the so called “Secondary Uses Service (SUS)” whereby every time you attend a hospital appointment your post code, date of birth, GP details, consultant details, outpatient clinic, inpatient admission, procedure, cost and whether you are to be followed
up is all sent by the hospital to BT.

All these details will be stored at the regional hosting centre and can be accessed by your local Primary Care Trust, Strategic Health Authority and the Department of Health via the SUS database that BT now manage- as well as labour ministers who have given themselves the power to snoop on us. Medical researchers are also allowed access to all this personal and clinical information.

Connecting for Health claims that most data in the SUS will be anonymised but a document obtained from the Department of Health under the Freedom of Information Act by Professor Ross Anderson of Cambridge University shows that they will not be anonymising this medical data. The letter can be downloaded from
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/Papers/SUS-governance.pdf

The NHS confidentiality group has already produced an opt out letter to allow patients to opt out of the upload of Summary Care Records to the NHS ‘spine’ (the central database that will be used to store electronic patient records) and they are now working on an opt out from the Secondary Uses Service.

The quick and easy to use letter template can be found at: http://www.thebigoptout.com/optoutletter

With the ‘spine’ effectively stalled this is one of the few consultations where sheer volume of negative response may have some effect – so please do help us send a message to the government that our medical records are private and should remain so.

Responses should be sent to Chrissy Brand (FREEPOST RRXB-TTRR-HJGB,
Tribal Consulting, Palatine Road, Manchester, M22 4DB) by 10th December.

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