The sale of so-called anonymous patients’ data and NHS hospital closures are the topics for discussion on the next installment of my radio show, Get Healthy, on Croydon Radio. Change is supposed to be embraced. But some changes can present more challenges than solutions, as is the assertion of my guests on next Tuesday’s Croydon Radio Get Healthy show.
Rebels With Healthy Causes: Care Data and Hospital Closures
With the threat of NHS hospital closures, Colin Crilly and Brian Colman are doing all they can to oppose proposed NHS hospital closures, particularly.
Colin Crilly is a campaigner from Wandsworth. He is involved in a number of causes, from anti-war to opposing austerity and cuts. He is especially concerned with how our NHS is being dismantled, and privatised right under our noses.
Brian Colman, is a long-time resident of South West London concerned about the future of the NHS, “Probably,” he says “the greatest success of any post war government”.
He is chair of the South West London Group of Keep Our NHS Public, an organisation which campaigns for a publicly funded, publicly provided national health service and against privatisation and cuts.
Despite the withdrawal of plans to downgrade local Accident & Emergency, Maternity and Paediatric Units, there is still a real and serious threat to our local health services: the new strategy for South West London proposes £570 million budget cuts over the next five years. Brian is campaigning against these planned cuts and in favour of a budget based on what is needed, rather than artificial financial limits.
Both men will share their concerns at the continuing uncertainty facing St Helier hospital (especially children’s services and the A&E). They also feel that Croydon Hospital’s future is also in jeopardy and feel that full details of new recommendations are deliberately vague. The KOSHH group have recently had a full public meeting, a singing NHS flash-mob (with help from a fire engine), and a ‘Buggy army’ procession, to help spread the message.
Their ‘Keep Our St Helier Hospital’ (KOSHH) campaign is having a fund raising quiz on Thurs July 17th. At the Morden Brook pub.
There will also be local Keep Our NHS Public groups (Sutton and SW London).
Would you like to join one of their fund-raising quizzes, or be a part of the next public-spirited flash mob? Stay in touch as follows:
Keep Our St Helier Hospital (KOSHH)
SW London Keep Our NHS Public
The second half of the show is devoted to hot potato that is the proposed sale of General Practice (GP) patient’s data to anyone with the means to pay and this cause is championed on Croydon Radio by Dr Neil Bhatia.
Dr Bhatia has been a Hampshire based GP for 17 years and the IT and Information Governance lead for his surgery. With this comes responsibility for data protection, records management, and issues of consent and access with respect to patient records.
Neil has developed a particular interest in the national databases (care.data and the Summary Care Record) and has campaigned to both raise public awareness and understanding of these projects and to achieve greater transparency in the ways that these databases, and those masterminding them, handle our most sensitive medical information.
During the hour long interview, Dr Bhatia will tell us what Care Data is; what efforts have been taken to keep the public informed of what it is and what their rights are. He’ll talk about its stealth implementation and hiccups that have arisen in our Social Media age where nothing is as anonymous or private as we would like to believe. I ask him how the thought of sales of our medical files may affect full and candid disclosure between a patient and their doctor. More importantly is information on what to do if you’d like to find our more, or simply exercise your right to opt out of the scheme to sell your data. What, if anything, I ask, Dr Bhatia, would need to be different with the scheme for it to be acceptable?
The unsavoury truth is that, as with all digitally available information, once it is out, it can never be truly re-called. Time really is of the essence here.
Dr Bhatia’s Twitter account is http://www.twitter.com/docneilb. His facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/optoutofcaredata and the website on which he has meticulously documented all he feels the public should be aware of when it comes to plans to make NHS patients information available for sale is http://www.care-data.info
The show airs live on Croydon Radio on July 5, between 5 pm and 7 pm, GMT and you can find details, and sign up for an email alert an hour before broadcast at: http://www.croydonradio.com/