National media turns on Coalition over summary care records "u-turn"

The BBC, Daily Mail, Independent and New Statesman have reported criticism of the coalition government for continuing the summary care records scheme.

When in opposition the Conservatives hadn’t said they would cancel summary care records. But they’d criticised the way the DH and NHS Connecting for Health managed the scheme, particularly the barriers they put in the way of patients who wanted to opt out. The Tories had also criticised the database state, including summary care records.

The continuance of summary care records vindicates the decision of the Department of Health and NHS Connecting for Heath to offer incentives to primary care trusts to send out leaflets on the scheme before the end of March 2010.

Tens of millions of leaflets have been sent out – making it more difficult for the coalition government to scrap the scheme.


What the BBCsays:

The BBC reports that doctors represented by the BritishMedical Association will discusscalls to abandon the summary care records at a conference thisweek. The BBC quotes an unnamed GP as saying:

 “It’sas though Connecting for Health and the strategic health authorities aretrying to reach a critical mass [of letters sent out to patients onSCRs] , to ensure it would be difficult for the scheme not to continue.”

TheBBC, and other parts of the media, quoted Alex Deane of Big BrotherWatch who said:

“The government wants us to believe that they’reserious about privacy and civil liberties. This is their first test andthey’ve failed it. The summary care record is an unnecessary andintrusive piece of bureaucracy.”

**

TheDaily Mail says:

“Tories accused of U-turn on NHS databasevow

“Controversial database of personal health records willcontinue to be rolled out despite Government pledges on civil liberties.

“Campaigners accused the coalition of a U-turn over a systemthey saypeopleare bullied into signing up to and is too hard to opt out of.”

TheIndependent says:

“David Cameron and Nick Clegg werelast night accused of a “disgracefulU-turn” over a key pledge to scrap a central database of patients’medicalrecords.

“To the anger of civil liberties campaigners, ministers haveannounced thatthe coalition will push ahead with the controversial Summary Care Record(SCR)database introduced by the Labour government, despite fears that it willexposeprivate medical data to insurance firms and intrude on patients’privacy.

“Both Conservative and Liberal Democrat election manifestos promisedto scaleback on ‘Labour’s database state’, while the parties’ health spokesmenpledgedbefore the poll that the centralising of NHS medical records would behalted.”

The New Statesman quotes Alex Deane of BigBrother Watch as saying that the coalition has performed a”disgraceful U-turn on the Summary Care Record”.

Links:

Coalitionto leave summary care records little changed – IT Projects Blog

Arepatients being bullied into summary care records scheme? ITProjects Blog

GPscall for SCR to be scrapped – E-Health Insider

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