Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Warning over privacy of 50m patient files | The Guardian

Warning over privacy of 50m patient files | The Guardian | Guardian Unlimited

Today's Guardian newspaper carries a front page story on the privacy of patients files to be uploaded to the NHS's "National Spine" without their consent.

A more in depth piece is provided under the title From cradle to grave, your files available to a cast of thousands

Comment from some of the key players is included in
'A national database is not essential'

It also includes a sample letter, in a column entitled What can patients do? , which patients are encouraged to send to their GP and the Secretary of State for Health.

The stories are rounded off with a leader article Spine-chilling

I hope that this will get the debate into the public domain, following the worries some of us have been writing about for years.

Although I see massive potential benefits which can arise from electronic patient records, I'm also aware of the risks and regret the fact that patient consent will not be sought or required and that the "sealed envelope" which has been promised to protect particularly sensitive information has not been created.

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