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Doormat junk: Takeaway menus, Farmfoods flyer, NHS data-sharing letter... wait, what?

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Alex Price-Forbes, chief disinformation officer for Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group.

That seems to fit a little better.

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Anonymous Coward

NHS letters..

Staff in the NHS are asked to review these, they are very rarely edited after comments are sent back. I've consistently said that these letters have to be in plain English, shorter and more abrupt. When it comes to consent and opt-outs we need to be VERY clear what we're asking.

However it's always padded.

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Anonymous Coward

"exciting long-term project"

Speaking of which, anyone notice this little fascist NHS-DeepMind revelation:

"The BBC understands that in the new deal there will be no opt-out for patients who do not wish to share their data."

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40352885

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Re: "exciting long-term project"

"The BBC understands that in the new deal there will be no opt-out for patients who do not wish to share their data."

There will be. It's called GPDR.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "exciting long-term project"

Again the EU save us...I'll miss that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "exciting long-term project"

Doesn’t need GPDR. No opt out doesn’t mean they are using the data legally. DeepMind have already been told they aren’t multiple times, the last publicised letter being very interesting. It turned their defence against them as proof their actions were not legal.

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Re: "exciting long-term project"

There will be. It's called GPDR.

I'm *so* looking forward to GDDR. Being peripherally in that sort of field (sometimes anyway) I'm slightly more aware of how many more teeth it does than the current DPA..

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Anonymous Coward

"Dear patient, we're sending these letter out becasue our legal team are making us and the ICO was wagging a finger at us. We'd really rather you didn't read this just accept we're doing stuff and don't worry your pretty little heads about it. Please don't ask us anything abut this, we've a phone number there but it won't work much and if it is picked up it'll be by the cleaner who doesn't know anything. She might take a message but it's going in file 13 anyway.

So we're just going to crack on and hand all your data to Google in a badly worded contract that'll let them sell it to the insurance industry. Ta muchly.

Dr Joe "Couldn't really give fewer fucks if I tried" Bloggs

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Re: I very much doubt a doctor was involved

>Clinicians tend to have more important things to do, like helping patients.

Doesn't stop them from being deeply unpleasant, elitist jerks.

Or at least the junior doctors I used to have to deal with had a higher proportion nice/jerk ratio than many other professions that I've been exposed to.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I very much doubt a doctor was involved

> Doesn't stop them from being deeply unpleasant, elitist jerks.

Often true, unfortunately. Though if you find the nice/jerk ratio higher than many other professions I wonder how much time you've spent in areas of IT such as, say, Unix system administration ;-)

For avoidance of doubt, I'm not a clinician. I'm a sometime NHS manager who found the experience and the colleagues so generally underwhelming that I dropped a pay grade back to where I didn't have to deal with all that crap every day. Life's too short.

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FAIL

Your

opt out letter is on display... in a locked filing cabinet in a disused toilet with a sign on the door saying "beware of the leopard"

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Trollface

Re: Your

Dammit you beat me to it, well I hope you chock on all your up votes, they should have been mine!! Mine I tell you!!!!

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Angel

Re: Your

I was unaware upvotes were a competition.....

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Coat

Junk Mail

As one local Reg reader put it, the missive came in the form of a folded piece of paper, sans envelope, that got mixed up in a Domino's Pizza menu "and consequently very nearly went straight in the recycling".

A notice on the Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group's site read: "We are currently experiencing issues with the answer machine service number included in the letter, however we are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible."

An NHS spokesperson went on to say "We are working through the backlog of voicemails as fast as we can, however as most enquiries seem to be about special offers on deep pan pizza with extra pepperoni, this may take us some time...

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Dear NHS Customer,

By reading this letter you agree to share your data.

There is a phone number. You can ring it if you want to vent spleen, but it's not going to get you anywhere, it's wrong.

Up yours,

NHS middle-management on behalf of Google who are the ones calling the shots here.

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Re: Dear NHS Customer,

So this is what a transatlantic free-trade deal looks like.

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"With your consent"

.. Yeah. Like my GP switching over to electronic prescriptions, complete with assurances that, even though my data may be shared with pharmacies, I have control over whether the pharmacies shares it with external bodies.

Except for the fact that the pharmacy policy isn't opt-out[1] - they are going to share your data with "partners within the same group of companies" but were remarkably shy about who those partners were or what they would use the data for.

And remarkably shy as to whether their partner companies would also pass data on to their partner companies. Apparently, it's up to me to investigate each partner individually.

[1] Yes - you can "op-out". But that means you have to select another pharmacy to get your prescription at and all the other pharmacies are either from the same company or don't do electronic prescriptions (at least, not with my GP). So, legally an opt-out system, but not in any practical way. Unless I want to forego my diabetes and migraine medication..

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Joke

Re: "With your consent"

Apparently, it's up to me to investigate each partner individually.

Won't all that additional exercise be good for your diabetes?

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Facepalm

Re: "With your consent"

Won't all that additional exercise be good for your diabetes?
Ah, but the frustration would require a doubling of the Migraine Med dosage.

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Unhappy

Spam all the post boxes!

I got one of these letters and I live in Northamptonshire! Is it just Warwickshire and Coventry that's doing this I wondered? Can't say I'm entirely convinced that they know how to look after my personal data or that they won't make claim to it and use it for commercial purposes. The whole thing read like a marketing interns effort at fluffy platitudes to pull the wool over the eyes of the proles. I just made sure my GP understands that I control my records. They sent me an option out form. The rules should be that you're out untill you opt in, but then a lot of these harebrained schemes woudl'nt work, would they?

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Devil

Re: Spam all the post boxes!

Maybe we could all phone the line, giving our postcode and claiming to have received one of these letters and are querying why they are why they have our data and can we please opt out. I can imagine a fair bit of head scratching at their end when they have messages from all over the UK.

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Where's the laptop?

If too many people opt out, the data that they want to share will be mysteriously loaded on a laptop by some random employee (all NHS staffers will have this level of access to the database) which will promptly be stolen from the employee's car while they have popped into church for a quick evening service. The unnamed employee will be reported as being promptly sacked with charges being considered for willful breach of something or another. No follow up stories or information will be forthcoming after that.

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Re: Where's the laptop?

The unnamed employee will be reported as being promptly sacked

You mean sent on a "training course"?

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Unhappy

@Korev - Re: Where's the laptop?

Only people of senior management level and higher get sent on training courses.

The poor bloody infantry just get the blame and are sacked :-(

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Where's the laptop?

You forgot their catchphrase -

"Lessons will be learnt!"

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WTF?

How do the NHS expect those who have very sensibly opted out of receiving Royal Mail Junk Mail to exercise their right to opt out of medical data slurping??

Oh, wait...

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