Scroll down for 
1: The NHS Data Grab
2: Action: Opt Out and Protest
3: Big breakthrough – An update from Foxglove (23rd July 2021) and 999 Call for the NHS (31st July 2021)
4: Links


1:

NHS Data Grab

What’s happening? 
from OpenDemocracy – more information is here
The Government is trying to slip through a massive change to how NHS patient data is handled. It wants to take the patient records which GPs hold on everyone in England, and enter them all into one massive database. And it wants to make this data available to “third parties” – including private companies.
This plan would mean incredibly sensitive data about all of us who use the NHS – including sexual health, mental health, criminal records – being pooled and shared.
The plan was announced quietly, via a single website. Health data could be used for the good of the NHS. But any changes to how our health data is handled must be done in a transparent, trustworthy, legal way. The scheme is being rushed through by stealth. Patients have been denied a meaningful say in what happens with their data. No safeguards have been included to prevent private companies using our data for their own profit.


Dodge the NHS Digital Data Grab
from Open Rights Group – more information is here
NHS Digital is planning to transfer the sensitive medical histories of over 50 million patients registered at GPs in England to a database accessible by commercial third parties. Protect your medical data by opting out today.
The data will include diagnoses, symptoms, observations, test results, medications, allergies, immunisations, referrals, appointments, information about physical, mental and sexual health, data on sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation and more.
Though names won’t be collected, this data will only be pseudonymised. This means it will still be possible to identify patients by cross-referencing data like postcode, age and diagnosis.
The official line is that sharing this data will aid in the research and development of cures for serious illnesses, but the Government has a lot to gain by selling access to companies too. The secretive way that NHS Digital is going about this will only undermine public trust amidst an ongoing health crisis


NHS data – an incredibly valuable public asset
From Foxglove – more information is here
The NHS holds a huge amount of health data. In fact, it’s the largest set of structured, machine-readable health data in the world. The data is so good thanks to the fundamental values of the NHS as a health service that cares for everyone – that means the data covers all of us, across the UK, regardless of wealth or background.
Responsible use of this data can be of huge benefit, helping improve care and develop new treatments. Patient data has helped the response to Covid, and, with proper safeguards to protect the public interest, more could be done in the future. One estimate of the value of patient data to the NHS puts it at a staggering £10 billion per year.
An asset to be stripped?
Private corporations have also spotted the value of NHS data – and are keen to cash in. They are seeking contracts from the government to provide outsourced data services to the NHS. These contracts can be lucrative in themselves – Palantir’s latest contract is for £23million – but the even bigger prize is access to the data itself. Many companies see public data as a resource they can exploit to develop highly profitable new products and services.


An excellent video from Double Down News

double down news

is here  


2:

Action

****OPT OUT !!!! 

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Information from MedConfidential about the opt-out process is here
You will need to fill out the opt-out form here  and take this to your GP
Information from NHS Digital is here

opt out

Additional info from the campaign group 999CallforNHS is here
They make the point that “THIS IS NOT THE NHS GRABBING YOUR DATA – this is the Government / Dept. of Health / NHSEngland grabbing your data and making it available – to whom?”

 



AND PROTEST !!!! ****

Foxglove

Sign the Foxglove  petition here  “NO PALANTIR IN OUR NHS”

open democracy GP_data_fundraising_call_square.original

Sign the OpenDemocracy petition here    NHS PATIENTS WANT PRIVACY,  NOT PRIVATISATION


3:

Big breakthrough – An update from Foxglove – 23rd July 2021

“We’ve had a big breakthrough. In the face of a public outcry, huge petitions, and a crowd-funded legal challenge, the government has announced changes to its new NHS database – including scrapping the deadline for patients to opt out.  They’ve also binned the ludicrous system where an opt-out only stopped your data being taken in the future – but your lifelong health record stayed in the system.
Taken together, these changes massively reduce the threat of patient data being taken without patients’ consent. Opting out of the new NHS database should now actually do what it says on the tin.   This is a direct result of our collective campaign efforts. So a huge thank you, and congratulations, to all of you who got involved…..We’re very proud to be part of the coalition working on this, alongside: Just Treatment, the Doctors’ Association UK, the National Pensioners Convention, the Citizens, openDemocracy and David Davis MP.
However, there are some big remaining concerns – including about the role of private corporations in the new NHS database. We’re currently examining these in detail.  A health minister told MPs in parliament this week that the existing system for deciding who gets access to NHS data is “onerous” and “long-winded” and that it was “a drag anchor on progress”. That sounds like he may want to weaken the rules granting private companies access.  The minister also wouldn’t commit to writing to every NHS patient to tell them about the changes to GP data. That could leave some people, particularly older and more vulnerable patients, without a meaningful chance to opt out.
We’re not letting this go. We’re consulting with our partners in this case, and others, and will be able to update you soon on the next steps. Watch this space!”

An update from The Observer      (22nd August 2021)

The Observer    (22nd August 2021)      NHS data grab on hold as millions opt out

…and watch (and share) this brief update video from “999 Call for the NHS” (31st July 2021)….3 million people!!!!



4:

Links 

The Observer    (22nd August 2021)      NHS data grab on hold as millions opt out
Good Morning Britain   (22nd June 2021)   Dr Helen Salisbury explains her concerns
openDemocracy   (22nd June 2021)     Imagine! Hancock’s GP data grab is not about saving lives
The  Lowdown    (14th June 2021)  A rash dash for your patient data 
Foxglove   About NHS Health Data
Foxglove    About Palantir
Keep Our NHS Public    NHS patient data privacy and the COVID-19 pandemic
MedConfidential   Defending Confidentiality (website)
Open Rights Group   The NHS Digital Data Grab  (Talk Radio)
Parliament Live   (8th June 2021)    Start date is put back to 1st September   (video)
The Guardian   (6th June 2021)     Tell me how you’ll use my medical data. Only then might I sign up
The Guardian    (6th June 2021)   The NHS data grab: why we should be concerned about plans for GPs’ records
The Guardian    (6th June 2021)   Labour asks NHS and Matt Hancock to pause plans for sharing patient data
The Canary   (6th June 2021)    The Tories are facing court over their NHS ‘data grab’
The One Show    (5th June 2021)   NHS Data up for Sale   (video)
The Guardian    (4th June 2021)   The Tories have worked out how to pull off an NHS data grab: do it during a pandemic
OpenDemocracy    (4th June 2021)    Legal threat sharpens over UK government plans to harvest patient data from GPs
The Register    (4th June 2021)   BMA and Royal College of GPs refuse to endorse NHS Digital’s data grab from surgeries in England
Peoples Covid Inquiry – video   (2nd June 2021)   Rosa Curling on the transfer of GP data to NHS Digital
Unison    (2nd June 2021)     UNISON joins the fight over proper use of health data
The Guardian   (1st June 2021)   GPs urged to refuse to hand over patient details to NHS Digital
inews   (1st June 2021)    Your NHS data will be quietly shared with third parties, with just weeks to opt out – GPs like me are worried
The Guardian    (30th May 2021)     GPs warn over plans to share patient data with third parties in England
The Guardian  (30th May 2021)     The Guardian view on medical records: NHS data grab needs explaining
British Medical Journal   (25th May 2021)   Should patients worry about their data?