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GPs go forth

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Hello you’re through to,  how can I help?

Hi there, I’m interested in buying some data please

Ok sir, you’re through to Michelle this morning. Can I take you through some security questions first?


Do you have a criminal record?


Have you ever been convicted of fraud or any other offence which might constitute data negligence?


Are you sure?

No…I mean yes!

Have you ever left a lap top on a bus?


Or a USB device on a train? Think carefully about this one before you answer sir


Or any combination of the above on any form of public transport?


OK, one last question sir, what do you intend to use the data for?


That’s ok Sir, you’ve passed through security this morning, we can’t be too careful these days can we? As I said you’re talking to Michelle, before we go any further may I ask what kind of data you’re interested in?

Well…’s ermm….a little tricky….but I think we would be interested in….errr

Do you have pecuniary interest sir?


Would you like to make money out of the data sir?

Well, yes! Yes I would actually, now you’ve mentioned it

As this conversation is recorded for quality control I would recommend that from now on we refer to money as interests, greed as stimulus, business as research and patients as data. Do you understand?

Ok yes..I understand

Ok, so would you like to stimulate  your research interests using data sir?

Erm…oh gosh….erm….Yes, yes I am, in fact I’ve always wanted to do that

And how much data do you need for your research sir?


One, five or ten tons?

Well…that’s quite a lot isn’t it?

We aim to please sir, would you like say five tons? As a starter

How am I going to carry that

You don’t have to carry that sir, we can send it down your phone wire as soon as you like

Yes ok, give me five tons of data

Just putting that through for you now sir…. ok that’s gone through, the data is on its way and you should be up and running with your five tons by tomorrow lunch time.


Is there anything else I can help you with sir?…no I think that’s all…I’ve got the data to..err…well stimulate the research thingy…so I think that should be all ….

Oh, one last thing before you go sir                   

What’s that?

Please don’t lose it! 

Readers' comments (4)

  • Spot on!

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  • And finally please don't sell it on to anyone who hasn't been approved by the gang of four.

    What about the number 4? They are the four Musketeers. The NHS version; the four The Daagers (The Data Access Advisory Group). They are: Mark Davies (Chair), Health and Social Care Information Centre Caldicott Guardian; HSCIC Medical Director & GP; Clare Sanderson, Director - Solution Design, Standards & Assurance; Sean Kirwan: DH Policy Unit; and Patrick Coyle: independent representative.

    The Daagers are unelected and I have no idea how they got to be appointed? They meet every month and it is their job to review applications for HES data from the Data Linkage and Extract Service. In other words if a company or researchers want data that might include your stuff, Mark, Clare, Sean and Patrick flip the executive coin and make a decision. Well, maybe not flip a coin but somehow or other decide. If you'd like to buy some data you can contact them at

    Their terms of reference are here. I was interested to see page 4; if one of the Daagers can't make a meeting they may send a nominated "Reserve"... presumably they can send a mate, Mum or minder? Here's some of what they've approved so far. I wonder what Corin Ltd wanted to know about you? The Daagers publish minutes and here are the latest I can find.

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  • Just don't trust the NHS!
    Don't tell GP's anything you don't want passed on. Let him / her examine you and make their own minds, not giving them any symptoms of course!

    Why oh why aren't GP's left to what they do best, acre fro patients, and all the other pen pushers find a worthwhile job in a back office some place?

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  • So you decide you want to share data but your children and other family members do not...too late job done

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