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Nov 20th, 2015

Care.data – Have your say

By Nat Whalley

The government is trying to push through the plan that would allow private companies to access our personal medical data and increase privatisation of the NHS. But together, we could stop it. [1]

The scheme’s called Care.data. 38 Degrees members, along with other campaigners and the media, helped to put the brakes on it when it was first announced back in 2014. [2] But now it’s back. And it still plans to give private companies, hungry to make more money privatising our NHS, access to our data.

But there’s an opportunity for us to change this. The people behind the scheme are asking 38 Degrees members what we think about the plans. So let’s use this opportunity to show them that we won’t let our health data fall into the slippery hands of private companies.

Tell the government to keep our medical records away from private companies:

A different, anti-privatisation version of Care.data could be used to make our NHS better. Doctors and researchers could use our data to improve public health and develop new treatments. [3]

But the current plan offers our valuable data to corporations. That’s a breach of our privacy – experts say private companies could see details of our medical history. [4] Even if our data was shared anonymously, experts fear people could be easily identifiable – especially if they are living with a rare health condition. [5] It’s also a dangerous boost to privatisation – giving corporations data which will help them take over more of the NHS.

Allowing private companies, like Serco, to access our data is part of the drip, drip privatisation of our NHS that 38 Degrees members are so keen to stop. That’s why we’ve worked together to keep Care.data out of the hands of the corporations before – and why we could have a big impact together again.

So let’s take this chance to fix their plans now, before it’s too late. Can you add your views? You don’t need to be an expert and it should only take a minute or two:

We need to show NHS bosses that we want an NHS that works for us, not private companies. If they don’t change Care.data, the public will opt out.

[1] Computing: NHS England claims Care.data is not paused:
[2] 38 Degrees blog: NHS Care.data we’ve won a breakthrough:
[3] The Guardian: The NHS plan to share our medical data can save lives – but must be done right:
[4] Pulse: RCGP demands new publicity campaign to address ‘crisis in confidence’ over care.data scheme:
[5] Royal Statistical Society: The risks involved in Care.data’s anonymisation system:

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