Sunday, 9 February 2014

Support Dr Gordon Gancz's fight for Patient Privacy - and Opt Out of Database Scheme

The outrageous new demand for doctors to make all the details of patient records available on one computerized database was foreseeable when all records were digitized a few years ago. The justifications being put forward for it are laughable. The idea that knowing exactly who had what treatment can help the NHS plan future care or funding is absurd. The NHS administration does not need to know the names, or the precise addresses, of the individuals who get prescribed a particular medicine or sent for an operation. It already has the figures for what is being prescribed and how many operations of a certain type take place in each hospital.  



 Does it need to be said that medical records are personal, and sensitive? Does it need to be said that doctors have a duty of confidentiality towards their patients which is part of their professional ethics? Apparently it does because our imbecile rulers don't understand what a "fiduciary relationship" is. 
  Any information on a computer data-base can be hacked into and accessed by all and sundry. It can also be sold by the NHS to advertisers or used for a range of purposes...even blackmail.
  Now Oxford has a hero  - Dr Gordon Gancz who has refused to surrender his patients' records to the database. Dr Gancz of King Edward Street Surgery in Oxford has been told that the NHS will sack him if he doesn't knuckle under. He is determined to stand up to NHS bullying and take them to court if necessary. I hope there is a petition in support of what this brave man is doing and if there isn't one yet, someone should start one pretty darn quick. 
HE NEEDS ALL THE SUPPORT WE CAN GIVE HIM. 
We should all write to our MPs and protest at the policy. 
There is a legal right to opt out, but the vast majority of people will be too busy, or unaware of it, or they may even believe the reassuring blather being circulated by the NHS. Privacy should be the default assumption  - not the other way around.
If you want to opt out of having your medical records sent to the data-base, print off this form and give it to your GP's surgery:-
http://medconfidential.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/caredata_trifold.pdf


Pass this information on to others who may not be aware that they have the legal right to opt out.






A CITY GP who has vowed to defy controversial NHS plans to collect patient data said he is prepared to fight the ruling through the courts.
Health bosses warned Dr Gordon Gancz, that he will be in breach of his contract if he refuses to hand over 4,000 patient records under the “care.data” plan.
Records will be passed on to NHS England, unless patients opt out, in a move bosses say will help identify where service improvements are needed.
But the King Edward Street Surgery GP will only hand over records if patients give their consent.
An email to the practice from NHS England said: “GPs are required to comply with all relevant legislation as part of their contract and to allow NHS England access to information.
“We therefore believe any GP who prevents the care.data extraction by opting out of part or the whole of his list without their consent to be in breach of his contract.”
Dr Gancz, who has spent all his 38 years as a GP at the practice, opposes the plan on principle and said few patients know of it.
He said: “If they change the rules of the contract half way through, we don’t have get to have a new contract saying ‘we will sign up’.
“Presumably they can say ‘you are in breach of your contract, you are no longer an NHS doctor’.
“If they do that I will take them to court.”
Records and patients’ date of birth, postcode, NHS number and gender will be given to the Health & Social Care Information Centre.
Dr Gancz said: “It removes my right to protect my patients’ confidential information.
“Someone other than your own doctor will know whether you have had a mental health problem, an abortion, gone to the STI clinic or just had a cold in the last week.”
He warned “there isn’t a database in the world that isn’t crackable” and said patients could be identified using the electoral roll. He added: “We have to play a waiting game. I’m prepared to stand by what I have done.”
An NHS England spokesman said: “We want patients to understand how important their information is to improving outcomes and ensuring we all receive the highest standards of care.
“If a patient wishes to object to their information being used for purposes beyond their direct care, they must do so autonomously, based on balanced, accurate information about how and why their information will be used.
“It is not right for GP practices to make this decision on their patients’ behalf.”
City centre resident Susan Twardowski said: “I am a bit of a libertarian myself, so I agree with what he is doing.”
  • A LEAFLET called Better information means better care has been delivered by NHS England to homes about the changes.
  • Patient records and date of birth, full postcode, NHS number and gender will be provided to the Health & Social Care Information Centre, which collates data on the NHS and social care.
  • Patient hospital data has long been collected and published on issues like waiting times and death rates.
  • But about 90 per cent of patients’ contact with the NHS is outside major hospitals and supporters say the plans are vital for the NHS to work together across all services.
  • The leaflet says records “are linked in a secure system”, adding: “Details that could identify you will be removed before your information is made available to others, such as those planning NHS services and approved researchers.”
  • It said benefits include ensuring local NHS organisations get the right amount of cash from Government, and understanding where people are most at risk of disease.

2 comments:

  1. Is there any further reading you would recommend on this?

    Amela
    nhs patient

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, their website at http://medconfidential.org/
    is regularly updated and the fight goes on. My GPs accept opt-outs but it seems that a lot of people still haven't twigged what is going on.

    ReplyDelete