Our new report – Broken Records – is an audit of the current levels of security surrounding confidential medical records in the NHS.
The Department of Health have issued the following response to our research:
we have made it very clear that it is completely unacceptable
for staff with no involvement in providing and supporting patient care
to access confidential information
In our opinion this does not tackle the key points made in the report – namely, that the NHS is in breach of both the European Court of Human Rights Judgement in I v Finland and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which provides for the right to respect for private and family life.
Instead they claim we have 'muddled' paper and online records. We have done no such thing. It doesn't matter what format records are in, if the wrong kind of staff can look at them, and look without good reason, this constitutes a security breach.
At present it is the NHS patient records system that is muddled between paper and online records – but this could change very soon. As we make clear in the report, the Government's National Programme for IT (NPfIT) is slowly rolling-out across the country at great expense and, as was revealed by the British Medical Association (BMA) earlier this month, with very little regard for patient privacy.
To read about the full horrors of this system, please do head to The Big Opt Out – the website of the NHS Confidentiality campaign, which was set up to protect patient confidentiality and to provide a focus for patient-led opposition the government’s NHS Care Records System.
You may have already received a letter similar to the one on the right (click the picture to see a larger version) – we have received emails and calls from people who have found it difficult to find the 'opt out' form.
To opt out of the summary care record, simply click the link below:
This takes you to the official NHS opt out document. Print off page 3 and send it to your local GP.
Until the NHS and Department of Health can get their act together on medical record security, we urge you all to opt out.
By Dylan Sharpe