Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Dangers of Blurring the Private and Public Sector

From Simon Jenkins:

"Specialist publications covering the public sector, such as Computer Weekly, Building Design and Public Finance, report a litany of disasters as hapless ministers struggle with the public-private behemoths they have created but which fail to deliver. Jacqui Smith and Alan Johnson have neither the competence nor the courage to end the absurdity of the ID card and NHS computers, both victims of high-pressure consultancy with billions of pounds at stake."

Of course, Mr Jenkins could also have included any number of other useless government databases, most relevant here being ContactPoint, aka The Children's Information Sharing Index.

Am off to have another go at extracting ourselves from the NHS Spine. Apparently a letter is not enough.


Wobblymoo said...

I am really struggling with making a decision to leave the NHS Spine. I feel it is a very fine balancing act, I have to weigh up the possibility of my medical history being accessible to the whole world and being admitted into a hospital as a stranger and having them potentially giving me medication that could kill me.

Carlotta said...

I do agree it could be a very difficult decision and that there is a chance of a possible downside to opting out, but on balance, I have decided to go for it.

...this because I suspect that doctors will view the Spine as being very error-prone, to the point where they would not want to trust or act on the medical histories in it. Should the patient be unable to provide a medical history, I suspect that they would not want to rely on the Spine and instead will call the GP or a NOK.

Given that the details of NOK and GP are already available on the Spine, this should be as much as they actually need - there would be no need for the Spine to contain medical histories.

Plus, in our case, our medical histories are pretty uncomplictated, which is not to say that I would be perfectly happy should they be made de facto public property.

There is only one bit of medical information that I think would be useful to an A and E department should I turn up there unconscious...(allergy to penicillins). In an ideal world, I would be able to have this fact included along with my contact details and that would be that.

In the meantime, I will remind all my NOK about the allergy problem and keep a note on me at all times.

So all in all, I hope I can manage to sign out. I am still not clear whether I have actually managed yet or not!

Ruth said...

I'm an uncomplicated type, no allergies or anything so there's nothing that could be on my record that anyone would ever need to know if I ended up an emergency case. I'll opt out.