back to article Backbench Tory campaigner promises judicial review of data grab of English GP patients unless UK government changes tack

A judicial review will inevitability challenge the UK government's plans to extract millions of sensitive medical records held on GP systems in England, according to a high-profile backbench Conservative MP. Speaking in Parliament last night, David Davis said that if privacy campaigners' concerns over the government's plans …

  1. Peter2 Silver badge

    Replying in Parliament, Health Secretary Matt Hancock also appeared to advocate the OpenSafely/TRE model, but with one crucial difference. NHS Digital, effectively a branch of the government, would extract GP patient data into a central data store, and then apply the TRE model, rather than applying it to data where it already resides in GP systems.

    If your in A&E unconscious then you probably want enough records available to the A&E staff (ie, blood type, allergies to painkillers) to be available to those staff, rather than to your doctor who's off for the evening/weekend.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      And so that the A&E know who you are it will be necessary to tattoo a QR code of your NHS number on your forehead. Or they could just chip you like a pet.

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Stop using whataboutery to justify a data monetisation grab.

      Firstly your chance of actually being unconscious in A&E are small, secondly they already have protocols to deal with those scenarios. Thirdly if that was actually what they are doing with it it would probably get broad support.

      What they are actually doing is a vast data grab with assumed opt-in and no right to delete at a later date and some questionable pseudo-anonymisation and then letting the fucking Nazgul to name just one grey actor at it. Each one of those is a red flag in its own right. All together it’s riskier than Matt Hancock discharging your granny to a care home in early 2020.

      The chances of it ending in disaster are approximately equal to those of Matt Hancock hooking up with one of his Aides.

      1. Woodnag

        A&E unconscious

        "You could be in A&E unconscious!" is the "But... think of the children!" equivalent to justify flattening medical privacy.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So you are saying pseudoanonymised records will be great for individual A&E care???

      Most people are O blood type, this unconcious A&E patient must be too? Last month most unconscious patients were drunk, this one here is drunk too? Diabetic comas are on the rise in this area, give the patient insulin, stat!

      At least take the time and cook up something with a modicum of sense.

      All individual records are available at point of care. This GP data collection is for so called "research".

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        >Most people are O blood type, this unconcious A&E patient must be too?

        All people can accept blood type O-, if you are in the ER they can very quickly type you.

        If you are a 20 something RTA casualty who last went to your GP for a child hood vaccination, at your parents address that you lived at 10years ago - what's the chance they have your blood type on file?

        1. Dante Alighieri

          Cross match

          is available in minutes - in some instances quicker than trying to look up - and regardless of blood type - you are getting cross matched blood, done today.

          And yes I know our local major haemorrhage policy

          the use of O neg is mostly fantasy

      2. hoola Silver badge

        Research into who it can be effectively monetarized for maximum financial gain for:

        The Government.

        Selected private sector business.

        Pals in both camps.

        Very little or nothing in terms of health or medical research.

        Or am I just being cynical?

    4. Dante Alighieri

      I call BS

      there is already automated point of care access to such records to support acute medical events - it's comparing apples with screwdrivers.

      I know, I use it!

    5. Cynical Pie

      The flaw in your analogy is they wouldn't use anonymised or psuedonymised data in A&E would they so this data grab wouldnt capture it

      1. Archie Campbell

        Because in A&E, they R back to the front in many local areas with debt collection elsewhere - which is odd when you can be sat twelve hours without a chart but prevented from removing the cannula in your arm such that you actually do have nerve damage by the time you're out on video a fortnight later on.

    6. DoctorPaul

      As far as I'm aware, A&E would NEVER assume someone's blood type without taking a sample and checking it.

      Race and rally cars used (still do?) to carry the driver's and navigator's names and blood type signwritten on the vehicle, but I'm pretty sure that they would never be given a transfusion without first checking their blood type.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it a real opt-out?

    I did, as perhaps many people have also done. I sent along the appropriate form, opting OUT of the data grab, to the surgery of the doctor that I'm registered with. This was some time ago, and I've heard nothing back to indicate that the opt-out has been set in place, or that they received my application, or that they intend to do anything with it. Surely, this requires some sort of formal acknowledgement, to indicate that it perhaps did not go straight into the w.p.b.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Is it a real opt-out?

      If you heard nothing, then it means your opt out is probably in the landfill waiting to be discovered by archaeologists one day...

    2. SImon Hobson

      Re: Is it a real opt-out?

      And the bit you've missed, there are actually TWO different opt outs you need to do. See medConfidential for details.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Is it a real opt-out?

        Patient election to not rescind the opposite action of declining the reverse inclination to not discontinue opt-opt with the NHS data collection, does not apply to NHSdirectX (or NHSOpenGL)

      2. Dr. Vagmeister

        Re: Is it a real opt-out?

        Thanks for the reminder. I recall i sent in the form to the GP 8 years, or so, ago. I have resent the form as they have e-mail now.

        This is atrocious that the Government is not telling people about GP records opt out. The NHS Digital online system should cater for both.

    3. JohnMurray

      Re: Is it a real opt-out?

      My opt-out is visible on the practice website.

  3. Dr Paul Taylor

    Mr no papers Brexit

    Things have got to be bad if I find myself agreeing with David Davis about something.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. claimed

      Re: Mr no papers Brexit

      He's always been all over the privacy legislation (or lack thereof). I thought he got stiffed with the Brexit gig to shut him up and discredit him... seems to have worked

  4. batfink Silver badge

    A good idea

    ...providing Judicial Review is still available at that stage. The current Dunning-Kruger Cabinet are threatening to kill the very idea.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slurp Central Here!

    My name is Peter Thiel. I've just made (another) $5Billion from this sort of slurping in the USA.

    I'm REALLY looking forward to making more billions from the NHS.

    Already plugged in to UK know....brown paper envelopes full of cash to the appropriate folk!

    Thanks....for paying no attention to what IS REALLY GOING ON in Westmister!!!



    1. BillD

      Re: Slurp Central Here!

      Half awake I read Peter Thiel as Peter Thief. Much more appropriate

  6. 502 bad gateway

    Once in a while

    Every now and then Davies makes perfect sense, and crosses party lines in a way that most can support him. I hope he wins this little scrap.

    1. tfewster

      Re: Once in a while

      David Davies has been mentioned several times on El Reg for his support of Privacy etc.

  7. JohnMurray

    As I have said before: The opt-out, currently, only affects the extraction of personally-identifiable-information.

    The extraction of anonymous information cannot, at the moment, be opted out of.

    My GP practice website lists all those that currently have unrestricted access to my medical data with no restrictions in place.

    It's too long to put on here........


  8. JohnMurray

    "Sweeping changes to the collection of health and social care data, which would allow the Government to commodify all of individuals’ personal medical data, is being proposed by the Health and Social Care Secretary, in a new shake-up of the health service.

    The changes are being sold to the public as a new right to “own” your own health data and, in Matt Hancock’s own words, “will deliver better treatment for patients, better health results for people who need care and support, and better decision-making, research”.

    Phil Booth, co-ordinator of the health privacy platform medConfidential, said: “The proposal is a complete con. You can’t own your own data. What it does is make it a valuable tradeable commodity that can be sold on to other people and organisations.”

    Plus, the Government’s claim that it is providing a new right to patients does not stand up to scrutiny – since anybody can currently request their medical records from their GP with no questions asked"

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