Archive for the ‘NHS Reform’ category

The “Spine”

November 12, 2006

Regarding matters discussed before on NHS data security (particularly the NHS privatisers’ plans to place our medical records on a computer database, euphemistically named the “Spine”) readers may be interested in the worrying computer-related points suggested by Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, as reasons for not wanting your medical records data to go on this Spine:

1. No “sealed envelopes” yet exist to limit access;
2. No on-line patient system yet exists to correct errors in the data;
3. Data uploaded may include genetic, psychological or sexual information;
4. It is intended to make your data available to social workers, researchers and commercial firms;
5. Your consent will not be asked before commencing processing;
6. Adequate criminal penalties against abuse do not yet exist;
7. Police and other agencies can gain access to a potentially unlimited range of information about you. There is abundant evidence that computer databases (including those of the Police, vehicle licensing and banks) are routinely penetrated by private investigators on behalf of clients which include media organisations;
8. 250,000 “smart” cards have been issued granting access to the Spine;
9. The Health Department threatens to withhold appropriate medical care from objectors;
10. Doctors say there is no necessity to design the Spine in this way.

You should check with your GP – you may well find that your data, like mine, has already been placed on the Spine by its jack-booted planners:

1. You can, by writing to your GP (and not the secretary of state who isn’t likely to see your letter), opt out of having your data uploaded to the Spine;
2. You can also opt out of having your address and contact details on the PDS (population demographics service – the NHS’s “address book”). If you don’t, then hundreds of thousands of NHS staff have access to your real name, address and telephone number;
3. Then you can also opt out of the NHS Secondary Uses Service (SUS), which stores records of all hospital treatments in the UK (including sensitive stuff like abortions and A&E treatments for drug overdoses). To do this you must invoke Section 10 of the Data Protection Act and state that the availability of your hospital records to large numbers of civil servants, etc, causes you distress.

I thank the very knowledgable members of the Greater London Linux Users’ Group (GLLUG) as well as to the beloved Guardian for advice and information.

Enough for now? I’ll come to the dear old Bexley PCT later …



Ve haf vays of makink you behave …

November 8, 2006

The somewhat National Socialist flavour of the NHS under Blair’s privatisation campaign was thrown into a limelight for me yesterday.

Responding to a question from my local medical centre (responsible to yes, you know ’em, those friends of openness and accountability: the Bexley PCT!) I told them my wish: that I did not want my medical records entered on this strange Spine thingy the New Labour Luvvies have invented. They told me “But you’re already on it – it’s been done!”

Oh, OK, I’m protesting. Angrily. These avid servants of the warmonger Blair prate of the security of my records – but there is none. Not in the real world of computing. Have you checked the whereabouts of your records?

All this was after I digested the last bit of effrontery and treachery I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs: the barging in of the PCT between my GP and any consultant to whom my GP may wish to refer me. That’s the affront, the treachery is that there must (I assume) be doctors assisting/advising this PCT whose training we have paid for and provided in the NHS.

Then last night I saw BBC2’s documentary on the expected bird ‘flu epidemic. I am not reassured.

For it looks as though by the time the next bird ‘flu outbreak is due, Blair and his loyal servants will have succeeded in privatising our once-glorious NHS into the greedy hands of New Labour’s mates, the big money men.

Otherwise, it’s quite a nice day …


Bexley PCT bean-counters

November 6, 2006

Friends and neighbours who’ve commented on my last blog about Bexley Primary Care Trust surprised me just a bit. In a few different ways, too. For instance, many laughed at the evident oxymoron seen in words “care trust”.

Yup, I agree. It’s so acidly funny that these New Labour Luvvy nominees use the words in the title of an organisation supposedly placed for the people’s benefit.

They don’t care and they can’t be trusted – that is evident.

As its part in the nation-wide imposition of cuts in the NHS, Bexley PCT is attempting to breach the once-held-sacrosanct relationship between GP and patient. The right of a GP to make clinical judgements in the interests only of the patient is under attack by the bean-counters of the Blair privatisation programme.

People in our streets, here in our town, need to be aware of the threat to what they once thought was safe – aware and angry at the dishonest New Labour local representatives who knew of these attacks yet did nothing, do nothing, to defeat them.

Our overworked doctors are under attack by operators only interested in personal profit.

Basically, New Labour wants to scrap the plans made during this country’s darkest hours. Our service people returned home after the war and demanded a National Health Service – and built it and kept it.

Are the children and grandchildren of those good people going to stand by and let the Blairite vandals ruin our NHS?

For the sake of future generations, I hope not …

The Bexley PCT aims to step in between doctor and consultant – with the aim of stopping some referrals. Isn’t that what private medical care’s all about? Like in America, say? No – here if they get the chance: no money? OK, DIE.