LETTER: More time for consultation

Your letters
Your letters

It is pleasing that our local CCG (Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group) has decided to share with us their plans for a “digital roadmap” – ways in which our medical data can be shared between different agencies.

It is astonishing that they have allowed only one week to canvas opinion from local patients. Possibilities include sharing information with local supermarkets who could then offer us long term advice on health and wellbeing. By the time you read this letter it will be too late to offer your view on the sharing of confidential information.

I am secretary to a large Horsham GP practice Patients’ Participation Group. We have currently almost 25,000 patients in this practice and it will be impossible to glean any meaningful response within such a tight timetable.

We will be unable to produce any proper feedback, but the CCG will be able to claim that we were given the chance to respond with patient opinion.

It is my belief that there is little opposition to safeguarded professional information sharing but the proposed plan is causing concern because it has no sound structure and is too loose to offer any confidence to anybody who agrees to share their data.

Who exactly will have access to the data, and how will it be safeguarded? My own professional experience is in both mental health and child protection and my clients and I have benefitted from information sharing between professionals and agencies in their best interests.

However, I would not, as things stand, feel able to encourage anybody to agree to a sharing of their personal data in the context of this proposal.

If the CCG could see their way to give us a reasonable timescale in which to consider the proposal and canvas opinion it would be very helpful. Perhaps I am being cynical in suggesting that maybe this week is a good time to slide something past us when our minds are diverted in another direction?

Jennifer Pearce

Friday Street, Warnham

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