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A GPs’ leader has accused the DWP of snooping on patients after the Pulse website revealed that the department is to force GPs to provide it with details of all the fit notes they issue, unless their patients opt out. Patients may also want to opt out of the even more worrying Care Data scheme which sells your identifiable health records to drug companies and others.

Beginning next month GPs will be forced to hand over details to the DWP of all the Med 3 ‘fit notes’ they issue including ‘the duration of the fit note, patient gender, type of health condition, their location and whether workplace adaptations were recommended.’

Family Doctor Association chair Dr Peter Swinyard told Pulse:

’I think that is state snooping. Although I am sure some civil servant thought it was a terrific idea somewhere, I am not entirely sure I agree. I don’t know if patients understand that when I write a fit note, some bureaucrat is going to be able to have a look at it.’

All surgeries should be displaying notices informing patients about the data collection by the DWP and their right to opt out.

At the same time as opting out of this scheme, claimants may want to consider opting out of the Care Data scheme which obliges GPs to pass on your personal medical data via Atos to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

HSCIC will then sell your data to drug companies and other interested parties. The data collected will include your date of birth, postcode, NHS number, gender, health conditions, referrals to specialists, smoking and drinking habits and your body mass index.

You can find out more about the Care Data scheme here and you will need to opt out by the end of February.

There are downloadable opt out forms halfway down this page.


#10 Paul Richards 2016-02-04 12:56
Hi all,
Jim has rightly mentioned that this information has been UPDATED.
(Please refer to his post)
To help explain what they have been doing please have a look at these websites regarding the HSCIC.

www.hscic.gov.uk/gpes This refers to the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) & it also explains how this system works etc.

www.hscic.gov.uk/your info (With regard to your Personal Information Choices) This page also includes Care Information Choices on clickable list on LH side) On there, there is also a reference to ATOS!

As Jim mentioned it is very important that you use the correct form from your G.P.'s surgery - do NOT use the 'Summary Care Record' form - but DO use the form entitled : Care.data: Opt-Out Form
which hopefully you can get from your G.Ps. surgery and then fill out and return it to your G.Ps. surgery for your wishes to be acted upon.
+1 #9 Jim Allison 2016-02-01 01:04
UPDATE 31/1/16: we are waiting to hear that the consent codes have been extracted and honoured for hospital (HSCIC) data. GPs will have honoured your request since you handed in your form, possibly several years ago. We are working to ensure all opt outs are honoured throughout the NHS. The promise that this will not affect your direct care will also continue to be true.

See: http://medconfidential.org/how-to-opt-out/
+3 #8 Bryan Dellbridge 2016-01-29 12:42
I have downloaded the opt out form , Now its filled in I'm Anxious about handing it in , In case the DWP make my life more difficult with being on ESA & DLA ... or am I being Paranoid .. It took me nearly 3 year to get my ESA sorted out and could not go through that again ..
+1 #7 Jim Allison 2016-01-27 22:18
Quoting ARJ0954:
Thanks for all the links.

Is this being brougnt in for the whole of the UK; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland? I'm struggling to find out via websearch and the pilot areas seem to all be in England.

It has been probably been abandoned. There were just 4 GP practices who agreed to a pilot scheme. According to care.data they are not meeting again until sometime in May 2018.

As it's partly run by NHS England, it will only apply to England. See:
+2 #6 ARJ0954 2016-01-27 19:18
Thanks for all the links.

Is this being brougnt in for the whole of the UK; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland? I'm struggling to find out via websearch and the pilot areas seem to all be in England.
+1 #5 Jim Allison 2016-01-27 17:06
Quoting foss27:
I campaigned against care.data some time ago and opted out my entire family. I don't have to do it again do I?

Sorry, I meant to give you a green tick, but mistakenly pressed the red one :oops:
#4 foss27 2016-01-27 15:41
I campaigned against care.data some time ago and opted out my entire family. I don't have to do it again do I?
+1 #3 Jim Allison 2016-01-27 14:39
I warned Steve & the office about this around mid 2015, but it was never published, as Steve was deluged with benefits queries, and our fortnightly Newsletter.

Actually, the latest news about care.data is that it has been put on the back burner because of complaints by the The BMA, GMC most of the medical colleges such as Royal College of Physicians, Surgeons etc.It may now never happen.

care.data is not to be confused with the NHS Summary Record where patients can opt of not allowing anyone except their GP and any hospital treating them from accessing their medical records.

This is not advisable, because if you were away from home and needed to see a GP or attend an NHS hospital, the staff would not be able to see your records which could have serious consequences if you had a severe health problem or emergency such as a heart attack.

GP's normally opt patients into this system as only NHS staff can access you records to check your illness, medication etc. using a unique password. Patients can opt out of this list also if they wish, but I personally wouldn't recommend it, as it's been a life saver for me in the past if away from home and I have a severe asthma attack or exacerbation of my MS, as once I agree they can have my medical records up on screen in a matter of seconds.

Happy New Year to all :lol:

Addendum: Foss, no if you've completed the care.data opt out form
there will two markers on your medical records, on the paper one's and on your GP's computer records. However, make sure you've signed the rights opt out form, When I asked for a form from my GP, they sent the Summary Care opt out form not the care.data one. So I just found the right forum on care.data on the internet.

See more at: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/records/healthrecords/Pages/care-data.aspx
+1 #2 Anne 2016-01-27 14:25
This smacks of a witch hunt looking for people who in some way the DWP deem responsible for their health conditions. Snooping of the worst kind. I will not allow my data to be used this way.
+2 #1 tintack 2016-01-26 23:44
it sounds as though many people could be identified from the details the DWP is demanding, in which case that surely constitutes a flagrant breach of doctor/patient confidentiality . I know the DWP has been a rogue department for years now, but surely even they are pushing their luck on this one?

If the BMA and other institutions that represent medical professionals told the DWP in no uncertain terms to sod off, I think they'd have a fair degree of public support. No-one likes the thought of being snooped on by faceless bureaucrats, especially when it's being done without their knowledge. We desperately need someone to stand up to this wretched department, because it's now abundantly clear that it's completely out of control.

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