Gov denies special celeb NHS record treatment
Don't put your data on the stage, Mrs Worthington
The Department of Health has said that politicians and celebrities will not get an automatic exemption from inclusion on the NHS personal demographics service (PDS), despite reports suggesting this will be the case.
Exclusion from the PDS, which contains name, contact details, place and date of birth and NHS number, stops patients having a summary care record, which will otherwise be created automatically unless they choose to opt out. The coalition government has made opting out easier, but decided against asking all patients to opt in to the records.
The department said that the names and addresses of NHS patients will only be excluded from the PDS, and flagged as 'S' for 'sensitive', if having them on the system would put them at serious risk. "Being a celebrity or politician is not grounds on which an S flag would be issued. This is for people who are at risk of physical violence if their location is disclosed," said a spokeswoman.
She added that no "celebrities" have S flags and that all patients can opt out of having their details entered onto the summary care record at any time.
If patients believe their safety would be at risk if their location was to be revealed, they can arrange through their GP to have an S flag set on their demographic record on the PDS. The department said that care professionals or agencies can also arrange this.
"This will ensure that their address is not available to anyone with access to the NHS demographic service," said the spokeswoman. "As the summary care record also contains details of location, such as the patient's general practice, any patient with an S flag will not have an SCR created."
No, I'd want the default option to be "Don't include me on your database" unless I *agree*, whether I have a public profile which makes em "vulnerable" or not.
Even if that wasn't the default, I'd prefer the opt-out to be clear and unambiguous rather than my having to opt out of the NHS Spine *and* the Summary Care Record and any other way they can try to find to sneak my data onto their systems without my knowledge or consent.
Still, as you say, I'm not famous, so why should I worry about my data being put on a USB stick or a laptop which is then left on a train or in a taxi or sent through the post or...?
What Is It?
Having opted out of Summary Care Records (but knowing there's a lot more to the Spine, etc, than just SCRs), I'm now wondering if this "personal demographics service" confirms that I've been conned into a pointless opt-out that doesn't really achieve anything much at all. (I already knew there's no opt-out from Detailed Records, for example.)
I don't remember ever hearing of this PDS before, but from this article I wonder if it's sort of like an NHS version of Contact Point?
PDS is the personal demographics 'service' - name, address, DOB, GP registration etc.
PDS more or less works and contains the data of every patient registered with the NHS (GP or hospital). The main problem from an accuracy viewpoint is that many people will be multiply registered.
There is no PDS "opt out."
The personal demographics service is totally separate from the Summary Care Record. (Fewer than 10% of patients have the latter).