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The Big Opt Out - NHS medical records confidentiality

We seem to be a bit tardy about mentioning the The Big Opt Out campaign to protect the security and privacy of your NHS medical records.

The Big Opt Out Campaign, supported by our fellow technologically adept privacy and security sceptics at NO2ID and FIPR and even The Guardian newspaper, are offering help and advice and model letters etc. to help you to opt out of having your confidential medical records unnecessarily put at risk on a massive centralised national database (the "NHS Care record"), rather than kept securely, locally, by your General Practitioner's surgery.

The next time someone utters the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" canard, ask them if they are willing to let hundreds of thousands of faceless bureaucrats and third party UK Government departments and commercial organisations, and even Foreign Governments, to have access to their and their family's intimate medical records and personal name and address, racial or ethnic or religious details etc., automatically, without explicit, prior, informed consent.

The reaction of the Department for Health has been to try to get your local Doctor to report anybody who dares to try to opt of the scheme to the central bureaucracy - see Professor Ross Anderson's blog posting on Light Blue Touchpaper for more details.

There is a need to have secure and efficient, collection, storage and transmission of electronic medical records.

There is no excuse for doing this in the inherently insecure and corruptible way in which the "NHS Data Spine" project is stumbling along.


Even now medical records are not confidential. My wife was recently in the hospital and medical staff who had nothing to do with her case were able to access her records on their computers by entering their passwords. There is no flag system which automatically alerts when someone not connected to a case accesses the details. On questioning the people they say they do it all the time. The hospital in question was Bedford Hospital which I am sure is not unique.

Come to General Hospital in Sheffield to see even undergrad students access your medical record!Confidentiality is a big lie!

Having experienced NHS 'confidentality' in both England and Scotland I dont trust them with medical information.

The amount of people that will have access is beyond a joke. In Scotland where we have the Emergency Care Summary, there is evidence (which the NHS is ignoring) that suggest the rreal opt-out rate is likely to be as much as 19% and that is before full records go on-line

You should see what they put in my records - and I hadn't been anywhere near a doctor for two years!!

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