Four Issues in tonight’s DriveTime
· Patient Records – an Update
· The One Show – NHS Patients Awards
· St Albans Minor Injuries upgrade to Urgent Care?
· NHS at 70
1. Patient Records – an Update
Do you remember the last time you went to see your GP – they would have had a computer in front of them, referred to it while they were seeing you, and probably typed something in during your appointment – they were referring to and updating your patient record. Now for years that record has been completely confidential between you and your doctor. But that’s no longer the case.
Some 4 years ago, there was an NHS program called Care.Data and that meant that our records were to be uploaded to NHS England and used for both our benefit but also for research purposes. Where it’s not for our direct benefit, that is referred to as “secondary use”. At the time, the NHS reluctantly gave us an opt out and around 2% of the population exercised it. But until recently the NHS has completely ignored those opt-outs.
Now we have something called GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations); this comes into effect on May 25. There are a lot of detailed provisions here but the main one relates to opt in versus opt out. In the past, organisations could assume that you were happy for them to store anything on you unless you told them you wanted to opt out. Under GDPR, an organisation holding information on you must get your agreement by an opt in! So “implicit consent” will become “explicit consent” from May 25!
This creates a mass of confusion for the Health Service, and the Government doesn’t want to raise any issues around it until after the May Elections – so they’re going to be very tight for time! In summary, though, the opt-outs from 4 years ago will finally be respected! And everyone who opted out will be written to after the May Elections. So, if you would like to be added to that list of people who have opted out there’s still time – for all the details just go to
2. The One Show – NHS Patients Awards
The One Show on BBC1, together with the Patients Association have just announced a new Awards Programme as part of the NHS at 70 Celebration; it’s an opportunity for us, as patients, to nominate someone in the NHS who’s done something special for us. The process is simple and the deadline is APR 5th – so there’s plenty of time, so who will you nominate?
There are five award categories
· Children and Young People Award – you could nominate a healthcare professional who has provided exceptional care to a young person (defined as anyone below the age of 18)
· Nursing Award – do you know a nurse who has provided exceptional care – this award is for them!
· Healthcare Award – here you would name a healthcare professional other than a Nurse
· Lifetime Achievement Award – this would be for someone who has dedicated much of their working life to the NHS; and finally
· Unsung Hero Award – for people who don’t usually get noticed – porter, drivers, receptionists, volunteers etc etc! This one will be decided live on the One Show
3. Minor Injuries to Urgent Care?
Services offered at the St Albans Minor Injuries Unit are limited; an urgent care facility would have far more. I launched our local Patient Group Survey on Health Matters last month. So far we have almost 500 responses and over three quarters needed urgent care in the last 12 months. Please go to
to have your say.
4. NHS at 70 – For details check out this great little video on Facebook
And an update on my NHS 1,000 mile challenge. After a few days on the Isle of Wight and lots of walking I’m just over 4 miles ahead of my current goal! Details at
So, this is a great time to support your NHS!