Tuesday, 19 June 2007

NHS Care Records Wikedpedia Service

I hear the NHS is to bring in an electronic patient's note system which anyone will be able to access nationwide. In the event you are suddenly taken ill or in an accident miles from home your records will be accessible via the www NHS ' secure' link. Why this would be needed I'm not at all clear. For a start you would have to be conscious enough to give them your name, DOB and home address etc for them to be able to identify you from all the other 'John Smiths' on the system. So if you can supply that information then I'm sure you would be able to answer yes/no as to whether you are male/female, diabetic, HIV positive, any allergies, any prescribed medication and your blood group [which often the GPs notes don't have on record any way] and your religion etc. etc. Besides, if a vet can diagnose and treat a sick animal with no more information than 'he seems' unwell then why can't the NHS doctors do the same for us.
We as patients will be able to opt out of this 'secure' form of electronic note keeping. But we have to opt out - they will not ask us our permission first.
I have heard that many doctors, solicitors[?!] and IT people involved in setting up the system refuse to have their health records on the central electronic system. What do they know that we should also know? If the professional people involved in setting up the system don't want to use it - then do we want to? Although it is touted as 'safe and secure' - remember it was only a few weeks ago that 1000s of doctors personal private details were 'inadvertently' released on to the Internet for all to see.
Apparently patients will be able to 'correct' any mis-information. I have visions of anyone being able to log on and correct anyones incorrect diagnosis just like an NHS version of Wikipedia. I read today that the BMA intend to call for an urgent public inquiry into the controversial scheme.

Update: if you do wish to opt out of this controversial scheme then there is a web site dedicated to this project with a downloadable opt out form - do email this to friends who may like to know about this latest intrusion into our privacy etc.

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