Feeds

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

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.