After a little reading it appears that this proposed change will undermine some important historical safeguards for patient confidentiality, certainly
regarding NHS General Practice doctors (GP's, local family doctors)
Most people have an NHS local doctor. Their records are kept and administered in the local practice and access to them is restricted under the
Access to Medical Reports Act 1988
At present, the patient confidentiality issue is decided mainly by the doctor personally, but governed by specific laws such as
The Infectious Disease (Notification) Act 1889
, and regulated by
The General Medical Council Confidentiality Guidance
The new changes will require family doctors to routinely upload patient details quoted by
The London Evening Standard
include: Drinking habits, NHS numbers, every illness from diagnosis of cancer to mental illness, reasons for treatment, dates of birth and
The information transfer of doctors identifiable patients to other parts of the NHS are so far mainly instigated due to clinical need, but this new
proposal will obligate them to provide the information for storage outside of their own records - hence the removal of a large amount of control of
confidentiality by the individual doctor.
Yes, this is a big change in the sense that it is assumed that most of the confidentiality for NHS doctor records at present is under the
responsibility of the individual doctor. In future, a large bulk of factual patient information, or pretty much everything except the actual
conversation with the doctor, will soon be on a central database.
It will of course be easier to access illegally than targeting individual practises, and as long as the identifying NHS number is included in the
information it is open to abuse.
For that reason alone I am against the change.
Would a letter to my MP change it?
Will many people care in the UK?
Probably not, but knowing all this will I still choose to use NHS services rather than avoid them? Yes.
I choose the tax funded healthcare option as my paranoia does not outweigh my enjoyment of having plenty of money to fund the various non-conspiracy
clouded pastimes in my life..
And again, as stated in my two previous posts here, I can choose an all private healthcare option in the UK, as any US citizen can, no-one is forcing
me to use the tax funded NHS.
A big brother tax funded healthcare system is still better than people losing their homes to pay for medical bills, although again, that is still an
option for citizens in the UK to choose - as in the US.
edit on 2-2-2013 by grainofsand because: Typo