There has been a lot of controversy about a national opt-out system for collecting information from individual patients’ medical records and hospital admissions. It’s been suggested that this information is not always entirely anonymised, and that besides being used to help plan health services it can be sold to a range of non-NHS organisations, including insurance and pharmaceutical companies (see http://www.patients4nhs.org.uk/care-data-collection-of-patient-records/). The Health and Social Care Information Centre that collects and supplies this information is now consulting on the agreement it uses in releasing data to third parties. See https://consultations.infostandards.org/information-governance/hscic-dsfc-dsa-review/consult_view. The deadline for comments is 30th October 2015.
“That’s the standard technique of privatisation: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital.”— Noam Chomsky