Feeds

BMA tells doctors: avoid NPfIT's flagship project

Patient data still at risk

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The British Medical Association has warned doctors away from trialing electronic appointment booking over fears that the system could compromise patient confidentiality.

The Choose and Book system is supposed to give patients more control over when and where they are treated. However, the BMA says the software behind it is flawed. Every time a patient makes a booking, the hospital will automatically download a copy of the patient's medical record from the Care Record Service (CRS), a system the BMA is not satisfied is secure.

Plans for the CRS include a data spine, a national database that will contain a summary of each patient's medical history. In June the BMA advised doctors to boycott the CRS until concerns over security of the database have been addressed. However, this boycott will be pointless if GPs take part in the Choose and Book trial, because data will be transferred automatically to and from the spine of the CRS.

The National Programme for IT argues that the new system will be much more secure that the old system, which involves paper records being sent by post. The flaws in this argument are all too obvious. A single item may be intercepted in the post, true, but a compromised database leaves all records vulnerable.

In addition, doctors could even find themselves in breach of a decision made by local medical committees not to work with the data spine, Computer Weekly reports. The BMA said it would issue a guidance note to doctors, asking them to consider the implications of the Choose and Book service before taking part in a trial.

The BMA is increasingly at odds with the government over the introduction of NHS IT systems. The CRS and Choose and Book were to be Tony Blair's proof that the modernisation of the NHS is going well. However, he now faces a situation where both his flagship projects have been slated as putting patient confidentiality at risk. ®

Related stories

BMA calls warning on NHS IT
UK.gov database 'rationalisation', the ID scheme way
NHS IT costs skyrocket
What's the point of NHS IT? No one knows
How safe is your medical record?

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.