How to avoid having your health records sold

Good advice here if you don’t want your health data sold on to third parties for commercial purposes.  You need to opt out now, otherwise you won’t be able to later.  Print the form, drop it off at your GP’s surgery, and tell others.

Printable PDF version
Word DOC version

Police will have ‘backdoor’ access to health records despite opt-out, says MP
David Davis says police would be able to approach central NHS database without a warrant as critics warn of catastrophic breach of trust


Filed under blackheath

12 responses to “How to avoid having your health records sold

  1. Anonymous

    Out and out scare mongering! Any data that is sold will be heavily anonymised and arguable of great use to scientific advances by the medical companies (whatever you think of them). Equally, why shouldn’t the relevant authorities be able to get at the data if they need it? It is THEIR data, albeit about you, which you provide by gaining a service from THEM after all. Its not like this will be standard practice. This is something that will ultimately save time and money, its finally a modern solution. Check the full facts.

    Shame on you bugle :(

    Double shame, but predicable on the Guardian.

  2. @anonymous – no, it’s only partly pseudonymised. This means that, given enough data, you can be completely identified.

    • Agreed. A great example: they anonymise date of birth, but the majority of vaccines are given to babies a known number of month old, so DOB can be extrapolated.

      • Anonymous

        And you can be identified by your date of birth?! That makes no sense, and what would an insurance company do anyway with the data? If you apply for any kind of insurance you have answer everything they ask so where is the advantage? The biggest benefit is to the patient and NHS, farewell archaic federated paper records of the 1950s. Equally the medical companies will find the data useful for their work.

        I’m not sure that survey is very impartial, especially as 43% would stay in.

      • It’s easy to identify people through metadata. The DOB was only one example. See here. An insurance company would use the data to determine the price of your private healthcare.

  3. Anonymous

    but they do that anyway based on the medical data you supply when you apply. They gain nothing.

    Its also not that easy – I am a 35 year old asthmatic (full details of condition and treatment) living in London for 10 years and 5 in Devon – how is that useful to identify me, and why would you want to??!

  4. Adrian Challinor

    Opt out made east – Fax your GP:

  5. Adrian Challinor

    Anonymous is wrong on so many levels. Firstly, its MY data, not my doctor’s, not the NHS’s. I should be the one to Opt-In, not Opt-out.

    Secondly, the degree of anonymisation being proposed is poor – deliberately so. This is so that the data user can correlate certain issues. Of course data of birth is a prime factor, but if you add certain other key items then it becomes statistically probable that individuals can identified.

    Next, this data is going to be used for research, leading to new treatments from the big Pharma companies, which they are going to profit from. OK, so if they want this data, pay for it. Don’t pay the NHS (which I guess is getting some whopping back hander), pay ME. It’s MY DATA.

  6. Adrian Challinor

    And just in case there is any doubt, if you were in any NHS hospital as an inpatient between 1997 and 2010, your records HAVE ALREADY BEEN SOLD! And you have been identified by postcode / Date of Birth.

  7. Have you had treatment from your GP recently? Did it work? How did the doc know that it would? Because the data showed that it probably would. Prescribing does not simply rely on drug company propaganda. Many studies are based on analysis of data from thousands of patients, to conclude that a particular drug / therapy / treatment does or does not work. That’s what your doc draws on when he selects a particular course of treatment for you. He doesn’t know – nor do the academics who did the study – whether Mr Jones or Ms Bloggs in Blackheath kept taking the tablets. Only that 3,472 patients of a particular age or -presenting with particular symptoms responded well [or not] to the treatment. This statistical analysis is the very heart of modern medicine. It’s one of the reasons we are living longer – better-informed decisions by clinicians. Restricting the availability of data could be condemning future generations to an early death. Stop being paranoid about hypothetical situations and focus on how to get more positive outcomes in a tight financial environment. And one of the ways we do that is with providing more and better data. PLEASE focus on what really matters: improving health not sabotaging advances in medical research.

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