Feeds

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

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.