Monday, January 29, 2007

And in further news...

Patients will be able to boycott opt out of the uploading of their medical records.

Report in the Register here.

Well, that is a result.

The Information Commissioner's report can be found here. Astonishingly for a governmental report, it is only 4 pages long.

I especially like the following excerpt, with my own highlighting:

NHS Connecting for Health has confirmed that people living in areas
introducing Summary Care Records will be contacted before any of their
medical records are uploaded on to the NHS Care Record Service. They will be given information about their options to limit the future scope of the
information on the Summary Care Record or the option not to have one at all and they will also be given the opportunity to make arrangements to view their information before it is uploaded. They will have a specified period before
their information is uploaded to consider their options.

The initial upload will take place without explicit consent on the specified date unless you choose to utilise one of the options mentioned above. Explicit consent is only one of the conditions for processing sensitive personal data referred to in schedule three of the Data Protection Act 1998 and NHS
Connecting for Health are confident they are able to meet the requirements of
one of the other conditions.

Once the basic health information referred to above is uploaded on to the
NHS Summary Care Record:
• you will be able to choose to remove some or even all of the
information initially uploaded
• you will be able to keep the uploaded information but make the
Summary Care Record invisible.

Any further information will not be added to your Summary Care Record
unless you have agreed to it in discussion with your GP. The
Commissioner understands that these types of discussions will take place
at the next consultation you have with your GP following the initial upload.

Later on, you will have another choice. Instead of the whole record, you
will be able to choose to prevent specific information from being visible
without your consent by utilising what will be called a ‘sealed envelope’

Please note the highlighted bits. If you are in one of the pilot areas and you share my concerns about what might be termed information governance I suggest you make use of these options. As far as I am aware, I will not be in an area of "early adoption". But they can't have my info if I am.

Thank you to the BMA who were lobbying hard behind the scenes to get this sorted. Your efforts are, as always, appreciated.

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