back to article British Medical Association calls for clarity on patient deadline for opting out of NHS Digital's GP data grab

The British Medical Association (BMA) has criticised NHS Digital for its lack of clear communication over the opt out deadline for its postponed mass extraction of 55 million people's GP data in England. The call for clarity follows the government's decision to delay the implementation of NHS Digital's data haul - the General …

  1. Teejay

    Non-EU-lobbyism vs EU-lobbyism

    I'm not taking Brexit sides here, as I believe both Britain *and* the EU are primarily ruled by neoliberal lobbyists, but the timing of this transition from, here it comes, GDPR to GPDPR is just so above obvious.

    But, hey, as long as we saved humanity and the world by getting rid of those evil plastic straws, putting artificial sweetener in every beverage under the sun and giving those kids in the lithium mines a job, who cares?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Non-EU-lobbyism vs EU-lobbyism

      When Covid kicked off and Cummins was driving the data analytics based response, a representative from Google was in the room. Its no surprise that they (and others like them) would love to get their hands on all of our lovely, confidential and private medical records.

      They'll promise all sorts of analysis and improved outcomes and better this with computers with flashing lights on.

      What always surprises me, in-line with everyone I've ever come across that has taken a bribe or been corrupt is how little they ask for and get in return.

      1. ratcatcher67

        Re: Non-EU-lobbyism vs EU-lobbyism

        The payoff is when they leave politics, they usually get put on the board of Google/Amamzon/facebook in an overpaid advisory capacity.

        An alternative route was taken by Blair but just as insidious.

      2. $till$kint

        Re: Non-EU-lobbyism vs EU-lobbyism

        Why am I reminded of Monty Python's Meaning of Life at this point?

        " Ah, I see you have the machine that goes 'ping!'. This is my favourite. You see, we lease this back from the company we sold it to - that way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account."

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Non-EU-lobbyism vs EU-lobbyism

      Add to that that GDPR would make opt-in for such a scheme compulsory. I think that's still on the UK statutes which means that this new scheme can be challenged in the court and any instutions or companies that want to use the data must sign the relevant contracts covering the scope.

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    I suspect

    That if asked, Matt Hancock will respond with "I am not aware that I have designed the opt out for patients to be as obscure for them and as difficult for GPs to manage as possible.

    I am also not aware that we will provide the opt out details at the last minute before roll out so that the majority of opt outs will be too late to implement"

    1. ratcatcher67

      Re: I suspect

      I suspect you take class actions against the goverment as well as personal claims against the minister(s)/civil servant(s) involved.

      its been done before with great success

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: I suspect

        By which time your data will have been delivered to the major companies that want it and it will be a bit late.

  3. Richard Jones 1

    GP's Bundle Arrived Today

    I received the guff from the GP to my mobile. The documents are totally unreadable on a mobile screen.

    In fairness, (and I hate being fair) it is also available on their website, in mind-numbing detail.

    At least it might solve my insomnia.

    On second thoughts, I gave up and will try to get what is left of my life.

  4. Velv

    You don't pay at the point of use for NHS services in the UK, which does bring up the old adage, if you're not paying for it, you're not the customer, you're the product being sold

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. BloggsyMaloan

      I am not a number, I am a free man!

      >if you're not paying for it, you're not the customer, you're the product being sold

      Except that we are paying for NHS services, albeit not at the point of use, because most of us consider them worth paying for in a civilised society.

      However, in spite of paying for it the government *still* feel entitled to sell data that Matt Hancock disingenuously and said we (the patients) own.

      I wonder how he'd feel about the people selling intimate aspects of himself that he thinks he owns. Imagination can run free...

    3. Kane Silver badge

      "You don't pay at the point of use for NHS services in the UK"

      No, we pay for it before we use it. It's called taxation.

    4. EnviableOne Silver badge

      except at the dentist, the Optician, and the pharmacy .....

  5. Howard Sway

    About dropping those forms off at your GP....

    This is the message on my GP's website :

    "The NHS in London is very busy due to rising coronavirus infection rates, but we’ll help you get urgent care when you need it.Most consultations are over the phone and via video. This is for everyone's safety. We will assess your situation and invite you into the practice if needed. We can arrange same-day appointments if you need urgent care but please don't visit without an appointment. Appointments will be held in the best way to keep you safe from Covid. "

    In other words : you can't come in unless you have a medical emergency. And it hardly sounds like they need all this data grab stuff on their plate as well, so they won't be happy if people start distracting them about it. All very handy, if you're a government trying to stop people from opting out.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: About dropping those forms off at your GP....

      There is a place on the NHS website where you can put in your NHS number and email to opt out. They've mysteriously no record of my email and the health centre wont take it over the phone and do I really want to go in to get my email put in again?

      1. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: About dropping those forms off at your GP....

        The NHS-wide opt-out is not the same as the GP opt-out. You have to opt out of BOTH.

        The NHS one can confirm you're opted out (by logging into the site), but the GP opt-out you'll probably have to harass your GP about. :-/

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    And to think

    that all this deadline and moaning and lack of clarity would disappear, if only NHS Digital had decided for everything to be opt-in.

    On top of that, they would have had no Day 1 problems with the rollout, as servers would harldy be pounded. They'd have years to perfect everything and make sure it all worked !

    Then, of course, they'd need to find some data. Maybe hand out lollipops for opt-ins ?

  7. Chris G Silver badge

    While applying for your opt out, you may as well book an appointment with a proctologist.

    Since the general sensation for both is about the same, you might as well get them both over with at yhe same time.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "pseudonomised", which means.....

    .....that the data slurp contains your postcode.............


    .....which in turn means that the slurper (Axcion or Palantir.....take your data slurper of choice) can easily de-anonymise the "pseudonymised" data in the slurp!!


    Oh yes...."think of the children"............


    How many five year olds are writing to their GP to opt out? In ten years time they are going to find that the Palantir "big data" aggregation has confused them with other kids and created completely false records which they cannot challenge!!!


    Brown envelopes........thousands in cash.........Palantir, changing hands getting f****d in ten years one cares!!!!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How many people have to block sharing their personal data before the dataset becomes useless?

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