Want your NHS records to stay private? Good luck
If you don’t want your health records stored online, you may have some trouble finding the ‘opt out’ option.
If you are registered with a GP in any of six primary care trusts — Bolton, Bradford and Airedale, Bury, Dorset, South Birmingham and South West Essex — you will last week, have received a leaflet about new “summary care records”.
If, like most people, you develop an eye spasm when privacy issues arise, you might want to opt out of having your health records stored online.
The leaflet explains that if you want to opt out, you can do so at www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk — but go to that site, and you will search in vain for any mention of opting out. And when I say search in vain, I mean by clicking on each available link, not using a search box.
There is no search box. Once you’ve clicked on all the links, you will be no wiser. Many of the links have sub-links, which you are welcome to try. They also yield nothing, other than the occasional derisive hoot when they are called “HealthSpace Troubleshooting”.
You will have need to refer to your glossy leaflet, ignore it and try the covering letter again. Eventually you will discover that you must type www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk/patients/info to gain access to the list of “early adopter PCTs”.
This, you will recall, is exactly why you are incensed about privacy. Because when they tell you that they value your privacy, what they are actually telling you is that they will take advantage of people being too busy to track things down or too polite to bother their GP’s practice manager during a pandemic.
Douglas Adams’s Arthur Dent once sighed that plans to demolish his home were “on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’”.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6802497.ece with additional research by Health Direct