A new NHS database is threatening medical confidentiality, and risks damaging people’s trust in their doctors.
GPs in Calderdale are being asked to supply sensitive information stored on patient’s medical records as part of the ‘Everyone Count’s’ programme. The intention of this programme is to open up access to patient’s information for researchers, and private organisations. Information that will be supplied includes drinking habits, NHS numbers, postcodes, illnesses and reasons for treatment. This information will be available to purchase from the NHS and Health and Social Care Information Center.
I’m furious that people haven’t been informed of these proposals and demanding that everyone is given the right to prevent their health records being sold or passed onto other organisations without their consent. The British Medical Association has also voiced its concerns, criticizing the proposals as being ‘too broad’ and stating that an opt-out should be widely advertised to patients so that they are informed of the changes.
We trust our doctors to protect our confidentiality, not to destroy it. Details about our most intimate health problems shouldn’t be passed onto anyone who isn’t involved in our care, unless they have our informed consent or a court warrant. We need our GPs here in Calderdale to stand up for us, and help us protect our medical confidentiality.