4 October 2013

8 Weeks Left to Protect Your Medical Privacy

The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives do not want to respect your medical privacy any more. In a move that is largely under the radar in the mainstream media, the Health and Social Care Act will shortly make it possible for NHS England’s care.data programme to share confidential information from GP records with commissioners, research organisations and private companies in de-identified and identifiable forms. You can re-read that again – identifiable form.

So let’s take some of the mystery away from this. You can read an excellent summary on the 2020health blog. We need people to be informed that their confidential medical records are going to be “extracted” with GPs unable to continue an age old practice of protecting patient confidentiality. However, there is a legal barrier to this, and under the Data Protection Act, you can object. Thankfully some really good people have already prepared opt out letters. Now it is our job as a campaigning political party to get that news out.

I’ve been appointed as our Home Affairs Spokesperson today and in my first action in that role, I’m asking Green Party members and supporters to back the 2020health campaign to make this an “opt-in” campaign. We’ve seen that increasingly our personal information has become a commodity to be traded and sold to the highest sector bidder. That is no way to run a National Health Service or our country. Government protection of our privacy and confidentiality is vital and this highly illiberal legislation, ironically brought in by Liberal Democrats in coalition, must be resisted.

To personally opt out, please use Medconfidential’s template letter, but more importantly, share this information as widely as you can online and in leaflets to help others to do the same. The Green Party will always stand up for your rights of medical privacy and confidentiality.

No comments: