Feeds

NHS England DIDN'T tell households about GP medical data grab plan

'Junk mail' leaflet not important enough for special attention, apparently

The essential guide to IT transformation

NHS England patients who went to the trouble of opting themselves out of junk mail being crammed through their letterboxes did not receive the health service's recent leaflet about its data grab plan with GP medical records, it has been revealed.

That's despite ministerial mutterings that implied that households across the country would have been informed about the controversial care.data scheme to slurp up our confidential information and add it to a database that already contains hospital records.

The main purpose of the pamphlet was intended to make people aware that their data would be shared automatically if they failed to opt out of the programme.

But a Freedom of Information request submitted by privacy campaigner Phil Booth has revealed that NHS England did not deem the leaflet important enough to be marked under the "exceptional circumstances" bracket of Royal Mail's policy on junk mail.

It meant that those who had opted out of receiving pizza menus, gym membership forms, estate agent flyers and other time-wasting info were exempt from receiving a Better information mean better care pamphlet from the health service explaining "important information about your health records."

An FOI response revealed:

NHS England did not seek for the leaflet to be classified as being ‘exceptional circumstances’ as we understood that the leaflet would not qualify. This means that the leaflet has not been delivered to households that have registered with the Royal Mail’s ‘door to door opt-out’. The leaflet has been delivered to households where an individual has registered with the Mail Preference Service.

Last week, NHS England delayed the care.data scheme for six months after GP groups in the country demanded the government to do a better job of explaining what it plans to do with patients' medical records.

The doctors revealed their concerns after many patients complained that they had never seen the leaflet. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.