TheBigOptOut letter vs. DH

Click here to go to the page where you can get a copy of TheBigOptOut’s (TBOO’s) letter to send to your your GP.

You can opt out of having your medical records that are currently kept by your GP uploaded to the NHS ‘spine’ – or so ministers have promised in the past. To do this, you need to write to your GP. But before you do, please read the following:

The Department of Health (DoH) have tried to argue that by having your details uploaded to the spine, they will be available in an emergency. You may indeed wish to consider this if you have a long-standing medical condition.

However A&E Departments do have established ways of handling patients for whom they no medical history. Logging in to a centralised database to refer to what might be the right person’s medical records does not happen at present – and seems unlikely to happen in the near future. If you do have a relevant condition, e.g. diabetes or a penecillin allergy, it would be far better to wear a medical alert bracelet, because that way they don’t have to discover your identity to look up the details.

Aside from this there should be no impact on your medical care, unless DoH changes the rules to make it so. Your GP will still have access to your records, held locally on the practice’s systems.

go to opt out letter>

ADDITIONAL NOTE: You may have read that the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Sir Liam Donaldson, has advised GPs to forward patient opt out letters to the DoH. This relates to a letter published in the Guardian in early November and should not apply to TBOO’s letter, which is clearly drafted to remain confidential between you and your doctor.

If you discover that your completed TBOO letter has been forwarded to DoH (e.g. if you receive a personally-addressed letter from DH, and not just a form letter forwarded by your GP) then please let us know by contacting us immediately. The order from the CMO represents an appalling disregard for patient confidentiality, and should certainly ring warning bells for anyone not already alarmed about the whole process of centralising your medical records.