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.
Society becomes more wholesome, more serene, and spiritually healthier, if it knows that its citizens have at the back of their consciousness the knowledge that not only themselves, but all their fellows, have access, when ill, to the best that medical skill can provide.— Aneurin Bevan 1942