GPES/SUS/NHS IC Safe Haven Policy Questions

helen Wilkinson-Makey made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health and Social Care

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The request was successful.

helen Wilkinson-Makey

Dear Department of Health,

I note all hospital records are submitted to the SUS Secondary User Service database and will now be sent to NHS IC Safe Haven for deidentification/linkage and sold to help life scences, pharmaceutical companies.

I also note that SUS database uses identifiable patient data namely date of birth, postcode, GP details, hospital details.

My question is around Private Patients using NHS Hospitals as I understand it all Private Patient hospital records are also submiited to the SUS and hence the new NHS IC Safe Haven.

There is NO opt out to SUS I have been told by the DH and Bucks PCT unless a NHS patient agrees to SUS they cannot have hospital care.

1. Is it also the case that Private Patients cannot use NHS Hospitals unless they agree to their details being submitted to SUS/NHS IC?

2. If Private Patients can opt out what is technical mechanism used to facility the opt out?

3. What is the precise leglisation the DH relies upon that allows the use Private Patient hospitals records to be sent to be sent to SUS/NHS IC?

4. If Private Patients are allowed to opt out of their records being used why are NHS patients treated differently?

5. If patients have moral objections to their data anonymous or otherwise being used for say animal research, abortion what mechanisms does the DH have to allow patients opt out? Given that good practice guidelines published by the GMC state doctors must respect patients personal beliefs.

What is the terchnical mechanism for such opt outs?

Will the DH be indemnifying doctors if they are unable to respect a patients beliefs due to records being sent to SUS/GPES/NHSIC that sold to life science/pharmaceutical companies for possible uses such as animal research and abortion?

6. With regards the small number of patients being seen as a Private Patient by an NHS GP are their Private GP records sent via GPES to NHS IC? If they are not sent why is there the discrepanices that their GP records are not used but their Private Patient hospital records are used and sent to SUS and NHS IC?

7. Will the NHS IC be doing any data linkage with a patients NHS hospital SUS and the same patients Private Patient hospital records? If so under what leglislation is linkage and collection of Private Patients allowed?

8. Finally I note that most GP Surgery's are requiring formal ID to register a patient. Given that this no opt out if you morally object to your data being sold or want to protect your confidentially can you tell me the exact leglislation which states proof of ID is required to register with a GP Surgery? As I understand you can use any name you wish so long as you are you doing anything fraudlent? I also note STD Clinics allow patients to use another name so why does nt the rest of the NHS?

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Yours faithfully,

Helen Wilkinson-Makey

Department of Health and Social Care

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