Council says e-health records are open to hacking and abuse

                                    (Full council motion below)

As we report on ComputerWeekly.com, Milton Keynes Council has formally raised concerns that Summary Care Records are open to abuse and hacking.

The formal council motion that criticized the IT security of Summary Care Records wasn’t supported by Labour but passed on a vote of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. The council is run by a coalition of Liberal Democrats and Labour, with the Conservatives in opposition.



This was the (amended) motion in full:

COUNCIL MEETING
9 MARCH 2010

Item 5(b)(ii) – National Patient Medical Records

(a)    That this Council notes that Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust iscurrently writing to all patients registered with a Milton Keynesdoctor about creating national ‘summary care records’.

(b)    That the Council notes that Groups, such as NO2ID, have expressed concern that:

(i)    summary care records may be joined with a National Identity database;

(ii)    electronic records are open to hacking or misuse by non-legitimate parties for personal gain; and

(iii)    a much higher level of data security will be required before the public can have confidence in such systems.

(c)    That this Council therefore urges its citizens to carefullyconsider the information supplied by Milton Keynes Primary Care Trustand reminds residents that they have the option to opt-out of having asummary care record created for them.

(d)    That this Council requests the Corporate Director CommunityWellbeing to urgently provide a written report to the Cabinetaddressing the areas of concern, as set out in the motion above, withthe potential of making written representations to both the PrimaryCare Trust and the two members of Parliament for Milton Keynes, if itis considered necessary.

Links:

Council criticizes IT security of Summary Care Records – ComputerWeekly.com

Why I’m opting in Summary Care Records – pyjamas in bananas

Reasons for opting out of the Summary Care Records – frontier psychiatrist

Forum on Electronic Care Records and NHS Spine – NO2ID

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It is possible to secure health records, but it is necessary to perform an in depth analysis of the security vulnerabilities as a part of the system design. It is always much more difficult to add them after the fact.

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NHS IT security is not fit for purpose. We have written about this to journalists on the Daily Telegraph and Times, and Andrew Lansley - Shadow Heath Minister, and the Chair of Parliament's IT Select Committee - none of whom have replied. So I guess they are happy for the status quo to continue.

That notwithstanding anyone who says the security of NHS IT, let alone the system itself is fit for purpose, is either a fool or a liar. The suppliers of this solution and the government and its agents have all said it is secure and I will leave it to the reader to decide which of the above they are. Meanwhile GPs are down loading records they have no right to see, and then losing them. It has been reported that there are now over 140 security breaches across a system that has not even been implemented fully.

As mentioned before NHS itself is not fit for purpose. In the time it takes you to read this another victim will be killed in an NHS hospital. These deaths are the biggest unpublicised or championed scandal in the UK today. Where is the champion to fix NHS and save more lives?" [edited]

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