We say NO to Care.data

25 November 2015 — 38 Degrees

Yesterday morning 38 Degrees members’ views, including yours, were presented loud and clear to the government. Four 38 Degrees members (plus two staff) gave our views to the government inquiry on how our medical records can be used. It’s fair to say we made quite an impact!
I was one of the two staff members present. Together with 38 Degrees members Chris, Judith, Ajay and Terry we presented the results of the survey which you and 70,000 others filled in over the weekend. We worked as a team to set out how 38 Degrees members feel about our medical records being shared.

The results painted a pretty clear picture. A majority of 38 Degrees members support the idea of sharing anonymised data for life-saving medical research – as long as we can be convinced that the data is kept securely. But we are united in our opposition to this data being shared with profit-making companies, for any purpose. [1]

There were times when it seemed like the inquiry team were reluctant to accept the level of public opposition to sharing our medical records with private companies. But Chris, Judith, Ajay and Terry did a great job of explaining why we aren’t prepared to trust the likes of Serco or Virgin Healthcare with medical records. And because this was backed up by a survey completed by over 70,000 people, the inquiry team were forced to listen.

You can see the full survey results we shared here:

Our huge response will be weighing on their minds. The government know where we stand and that if they want to push forward with opening up our medical records to private companies then they’ll have a fight on their hands. That could be enough to make them back down – but we’ll need to stay vigilant and be ready to keep this campaign going.

Whilst yesterday was a success, it was also, for me, a reminder of just how great the threats are facing our NHS. Private companies are trying to get involved from every angle. The private health industry doesn’t only want NHS medical records – that’s just one part of a co-ordinated effort to grab contracts for treatment, research, and NHS management. [2]

Yesterday 38 Degrees members acted as a thorn in the side of the private companies trying to take over our NHS. But we need to make sure we’re ready to do it again tomorrow, and for months and years to come.

38 Degrees relies on donations from members to maintain our people-powered campaign to protect the NHS as a public service for everyone. Please can you chip in to make sure the campaign to stop NHS privatisation continues? Every single donation makes 38 Degrees a stronger voice standing up for the NHS.

Thanks for being involved,

Nat (along with David, Chris, Ajay, Judith, and Terry)

[1] See the full survey results on the 38 Degrees blog here:
[2] The Independent: World’s largest private healthcare company HCA plans expansion into NHS:

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