Information Commissioner receives complaint from local politician

Birmingham politician registers formal complaint over public information campaign.

Birmingham MP Roger Godsiff has lodged a formal complaint regarding the public information campaign for with the Information Commissioner citing low levels of awareness amongst GP’s and the public.

He said: “ I don’t believe in all honesty that NHS England can proceed with the upload of confidential patient medical next month when the evidence is growing daily that people don’t know what’s going on. Added to which it’s not as if people are being asked to sign up for something, the something – your personal medical files – will be taken anyway unless you have opted out.

The conduct of this campaign has been shambolic and cut price with NHS England not even according individuals the dignity of an individually addressed communication which might stand some chance of reaching them instead of dropping on the doorstep with other leaflets for furniture sales and pizza delivery.

NHS England have also comprehensively chosen to ignore the concerns of care groups who represent those with learning difficulties, the elderly and frail and so on who are not likely to be in any position to discuss the matter with their GP.

I am not sure how much reassurance a person with learning difficulties or mental health problems will have felt from recent remarks made by Tim Kelsey, the NHS national director for patients and information, who is charge of, when he told listeners on the Today programme:   “People who don’t trust the NHS to manage their data securely now have a new right to opt out of this scheme. To be honest, all they need to do is contact their GP to opt out.” Such complacency is staggering!!

The member for Hall Green believes that that NHS England have not shown due diligence in this regard and are in no position to ‘presume consent’ on behalf of large swathes of the GP using public to particularly sensitive data. Roger has already written to the Speakers Office in the House of Commons requesting time for a parliamentary debate and believes that the whole programme should be halted immediately.

He concluded: “ Now more than every I am deeply suspicious of people or organizations who want to take something personal, particularly when I am told its for my own good and it will remain confidential!! The campaign has not set up out to seek consent either effectively or comprehensively and as a consequence carries no legitimacy or trust. It is a grab!”