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DATA-PROTECTION  January 2007

DATA-PROTECTION January 2007

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Subject:

Re: +AFs-data-protection+AF0- Private Eye releasing possible unique patient information

From:

Nick Landau <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Nick Landau <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 12 Jan 2007 13:31:05 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (188 lines)

I am sure you are right.

The information was added to show eg the complexity of the password (with an 
underscore) - any fule could have thought up a similar password - but not 
the same.

In fact, the whole article was to show the complexity of Choose and Book.

If I had been the patient, I would have gone back to the practice to ask for 
help - and then this GP journalist should have been complaining about an 
unhelpful practice.

Nick Landau

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Edwina Withe
To: data-protection+AEA-JISCMAIL.AC.UK
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2007 12:18 PM
Subject: Re: +AFs-data-protection+AF0- Private Eye releasing possible unique patient 
information


Processing probably covered by Section 32  - Journalism, literature and art.
E


+AD4APgA+- Simon Howarth +ADw-simon+AEA-INFORMATIONEDGE.CO.UK+AD4- 12/01/2007 11:40 +AD4APgA+-

Do we know that the individual did not want their details published? If so 
then I agree with the comments, but I would suspect that if the patient 
contact Private Eye, then they have probably been asked for permission 
anyway? Just a thought.

I do agree that if the information need not be published then it shouldn't, 
but they are journalists after all..

Simon.




From: This list is for those interested in Data Protection issues 
+AFs-mailto:data-protection+AEA-JISCMAIL.AC.UK+AF0- On Behalf Of Nick Landau
Sent: 11 January 2007 13:12
To: data-protection+AEA-JISCMAIL.AC.UK
Subject: +AFs-data-protection+AF0- Private Eye releasing possible unique patient 
information

In the current Private Eye, MD (the medical column) was reporting on the 
problems as he saw it of patients using the NHS Choose and Book. He provides 
the example of a particular patient and gives the patient's name (who 
contacted Private Eye), the booking reference number and password.

According to 
http://www.gloshealthservices.org.uk/chooseandbook/cab/about.htm

+ACI-How does Choose and Book work?
If your GP decides that you need to see a specialist, he/she will print out 
an 'Appointment Request' form, which includes your Unique Booking Reference 
Number and lists the hospitals or local services available to you.
You will be able to choose from this list and book an appointment by calling 
your chosen hospital or local service. You can call straight away after 
seeing your GP or at anytime up to two weeks later, if you want to think 
more about your choice or preferred appointment date and time.
Your password and reference number
A password will be printed out on a separate sheet of paper and given to you 
with your Appointment Request. This will be used to make sure your 
information is kept secure on the computer system. When you call your chosen 
hospital they will identify you by your password and the reference number on 
your Appointment Request form.+ACI-
Well, the problem could clearly have been described without giving away this 
patient personal information.
MD is a GP and therefore should have known this. It seems that he is more 
concerned with making political points than respecting the person's 
confidentiality. Obviously the patient supplied him with the information, 
but he/the paper should have acted in the informant's interests by not 
publishing it.
Nice one, Private Eye+ACE- You can imagine what they would say about another 
paper that did this - I think it would be in +ACI-Streets of Shame+ACI-.
Nick Landau



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