Liverpool Green Party today (Monday July 26) warns that it’s less than a month to the ‘Great NHS Data Grab’ which threatens to share people’s most personal medical information with private companies.
It urged new health secretary Sajid Javid to dismantle the toxic legacy left by his predecessor Matt Hancock by scrapping the proposed Great NHS Data Grab.
Members of the public have until the end of August to opt out. The plan will see millions of GPs records centralised into one database. Private companies can then gain access to the data.
Liverpool Green Party councillor Lawrence Brown said: ‘We know this is a government that puts private profits before people’s health. It wants to share people’s most personal medical information with any private company that says it is for research.’
The government has twice delayed the start of the grab following public protests and now says it will start when four tests have been met around dealing with opt-out backlogs and ensuring ‘a trusted research environment has been developed’.
Cllr Brown warned: ‘The government set dates it couldn’t meet and has now set tests it can’t meet. Yet it refuses to take the plans off the table for good. We are urging people to opt out today because this government’s tests and dates can’t be trusted.’
National Green Party health spokesperson Peter Cranie added: ‘These plans could enable US health companies to potentially make huge profits off the back of processing some of our most sensitive and personal data.’
Cllr Brown added: ‘We have the skills here within the NHS and university sectors to bring this data together, properly anonymise it, and allow the public to benefit from it for free.
‘The good news is that we can opt out of the data grab, if we tell our GP now. Time is short to protect our most personal data and our NHS from private sector predators.’
NOTES TO EDITORS
- People can get more information and copies of forms to opt out at https://reclaimthenet.org/nhs-data-opt-out/
- The government’s plans: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research/secretary-of-state-letter-to-general-practice#top
- Back in 2013 the coalition government of Tories and Lib Dems proposed ‘extraction’ of identifiable medical data from GP surgeries that could then be passed onto private companies. The Green Party opposed the proposal then, and were part of a successful campaign that stopped the idea in its tracks.