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Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

Midnight_Caller
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Registered: 15-04-2007

Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

Hi All
Just Seen This:
[quote="The Daily Mail"]
Millions of patients' data to sold off for research after Cameron announces radical plan to change NHS constitution
Millions of people’s medical records are to be sold off to pharmaceutical firms to help them develop new drugs to tackle conditions such as dementia.
David Cameron yesterday announced plans to change the NHS Constitution to allow patients’ data to be released for research.
The details will be anonymous, meaning researchers should not be able to link what they receive to individual members of the public, and patients will also be able to opt out.
But civil liberties campaigners warned that the material could end up being abused.
Ministers are keen to promote the pharmaceuticals industry, in which Britain is a world leader.
In a speech to a global health summit in London yesterday, Mr Cameron said that harnessing the ‘incredible knowledge base of the NHS’ could help give Britain a cutting edge.
Read More Here

Let his own data be the first to be sold off!
33 REPLIES
itsme
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

and what is the problem?
Medical Research and source of material have always been a problem.  Burke and Hare is an example of this.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

Took the words right out of my mouth itsme.
Most people would like rapid advancement of medical research into all manner of diseases and conditions. One of the best tools for this is record data from as many sources as possible.
If you were in your GP's surgery, and he said your condition would be useful and interesting to professor so-and-so in his research into finding a possible cure, can we send your records off to him, always assuming your GP needs to ask your permission anyway, which I doubt? I defy you to say no! Ok, its nice to be asked, but would take an awfully long time to approach each and every single sufferer for their permission.
As long as there are safeguards that the data is used in an appropriate way (such as not "accidentally" falling into the hands of insurance companies for instance where such data could be used to influence acceptance or continued life-assurance) I don't see the problem. 
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

My only question is "Why has it taken 60 odd years of NHS to realise the value of the Data to society as a whole"
Midnight_Caller
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Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

@Petlew, But the data will be solled off to insurance companies and so on in the end.
This is just the start of a slippery slope
Mark my words it will happen at the end of the day.
itsme
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Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

Quote from: journeys
My only question is "Why has it taken 60 odd years of NHS to realise the value of the Data to society as a whole"

It's how the data is recorded and stored. 60 years ago you use to have typing pools and rooms full with bookkeepers so the cost to number crunch data would have been very high.
Community Veteran
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Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

Quote from: Midnight
But the data will be sold off to insurance companies and so on in the end.

The NHS "joined up computerisation projects" has been such a mess up that insurance companies are probably already helping themselves to data for free.
Quote from: itsme
the cost to number crunch data would have been very high.

With the recent "IT technology for the National Health Service" failing with a bill of several billions the cost of data crunching isn't exactly cheap for the tax payer.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

Quote from: Midnight
This is just the start of a slippery slope
Mark my words it will happen at the end of the day.

When? 9:18pm? 6:02pm?
I'm personally not fussed about my medical records being used for research.  I'm a bit of a special case Smiley
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

If this can advance medical research then I have no objections.  It must provide an invaluable source of data that can shorten the time to produce new drugs etc. Excellent idea.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

Didn't the people of Iceland agree to have their data used, but NOT totally anonymised so that genetic/family connections could be included in the research?
David_W
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Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

I'm for it.  I know we consider the NHS to be free but really, it isn't.  It's paid for by taxation.  If you're a generally healthy person who rarely needs medical treatment then over time you're going to be putting a lot of money into the NHS and not taking anything out, so you won't have much data to sell on.  If however you're generally an unhealthy person then you will still be putting money into the NHS but taking out a lot more (I don't think I'd ever be able to repay the costs of my medical treatments through taxation) but that means there is a lot more data available for you which can even it out.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

The pharmaceutical industry is a major industry in the UK and a world leader.  If we can continue to keep it at the cutting edge by providing this data it will help future medical development and provide a big boost to our economy.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

It's also possible to strip out much of the personal detail, such as your name, exact address , National Insurance number, exact day you were born on, etc yet still retain a lot of valuable information.
I Suspect the people using this information are concentrating more on specific things such as clusters of conditions or diseases occurring more in one location than another, types of illnesses linked to age, etc,
I Guess there are thousands of various combinations but it's this kind of work that can lead to advances of how to tackle these things.
The only negative remark I would make is that there are a number of things that are known to cause ill health and yet some experts will claim there is no positive evidence which supports this so the government takes little or no action. It's interesting to look at what things are banned in some countries but not others, one example are certain food additives.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

When the Olympics are over the lab that is doing the drug testing in Essex will become a National Phenome Centre. It will be the first of its kind in the world and the data from the NHS will be of great value to them I imagine.
New Centre
RPMozley
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Re: Cameron to sell off your NHS data.

There's a massive difference in providing data, compared selling it. If the info has enough monetary value to be useful for private companies, then all it will be used for is to make more money out of you.
Why should your private info held by the NHS be sold off to the highest bidder simply to make more profit for a private company? And if it's so valuable shouldn't the person it belongs to have a say in how it's used?