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Stand up to pressure over Care Records

From Dr Peter Brewer, Looe, Cornwall

I have just listened to a discussion on the radio between a professor of IT and the almighty Lord Warner about patients' medical information being put on a national database. The premise that it is 'all for the patients' good' came up.

Medically it is not warranted.

If you were on a beach in Turkey, or a plane, or even

in a road accident in this country, you are not going to be able to easily access the information. It would be much safer, cheaper and easily accessible to have a card or a tag with the relevant information on it, so it is always with you.

From an IT point of view,

the larger and more centralised the computer,

the more susceptible it is to failure (both in giving information to various

people who should not have it and in not being accessible to people who genuinely need it).

If we GPs do go along with it and we are the ones

giving information to the Government, would we be liable if that information was used in a way the patient did not want?

I feel very strongly that

my patients' trust and confidentiality are my prime concerns, and I am not going to give these away to anyone, let alone this Government.

I feel all GPs should

refuse to put their patients' records on this computer unless the patient specifically requests it.

This is a Government-led policy to get around unpopular ID cards and get hold of as much information as possible.

Big Brother is knocking on the door. Don't answer it.

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