Tag Archives: record

Victory for grassroots campaign as Tories ‘delay’ giving away your private NHS patient data

This is a victory for social media campaigners like This Site.

The Tories had been planning to pass private details of your mental and sexual health, criminal records, smoking and drinking habits to profiteers without telling you.

They had created a scam scheme in which they would hand over the medical histories of more than 55 million NHS England patients to profit-making organisations – unless the patients opted out.

But they never actually bothered to tell anybody what they were doing.

I mean: if you’re in England, did you see the national advertising campaign on TV, the social media and in the newspapers? Did you catch the news spots with NHS and government representatives debating it with some of the many organisations who oppose it?

I didn’t think so.

Yet Health Minister Jo Churchill, announcing the “delay” in Parliament, had the bare-faced cheek to say the government was “absolutely determined to take people with us”.

The impression I get is that hardly anybody knew a single thing about it until Vox Political – along with a few other social media organisations – publicised it on June 2.

By then, less than three weeks were left before the original June 23 deadline for opting out.

So it was risible when Churchill told Parliament “patients own their own data”.

If that’s an admission that the Tories don’t own patient data, then why have they been trying to sell it ever since they formed their government in 2010? Isn’t that, you know, theft?

The good news is that This Site’s article – and those of the other social media sites that took an interest – caught the public interest and the government had to step back.

The Tories wouldn’t have announced this delay if they had not received significant resistance to their plan.

And the really good news is that the delay means more people can opt out of the scheme.

You can do this by providing this online form to your GP – or by using this website. I strongly urge you to do so.

Be sure to enjoy the “mythbusting” section of the website in which the Tories say it’s all perfectly innocent. And then ignore it.

Source: New NHS patient data store delayed by two months – BBC News

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Labour members: be careful not to be recorded at new anti-Semitism training. They may use it to accuse you!

Don’t go: if the Jewish Labour Movement is organising training on anti-Semitism, the session will probably be an attempt to indoctrinate attendees into the pro-Israel, aggressive Zionist ideology that the JLM supports.

The Labour Party has announced that it is running an online “awareness training session” for members to learn about anti-Semitism.

The session will cover “what anti-Semitic incidents look like in the UK and the world today, identifying different elements of anti-Semitism and how the Labour Party can create a welcoming environment for Jewish members”.

Does that seem good? Well, it isn’t.

Because the session between 6pm and 7pm on June 14 is being run by the Jewish Labour Movement. Anybody attending is likely to have their contribution recorded with a view to releasing it to the press as part of an accusation of anti-Semitism.

Ask Jackie Walker about it, because that’s what happened to her. JLM members recorded her, twisted the meaning of her words, and had her expelled from the Labour Party.

The organiser and chair of the meeting at which Ms Walker was framed was Mike Katz. He’s now chair of the Jewish Labour Movement and will be introducing the “training session” on June 14.

I’m not saying this means the event is definitely an attempt at entrapment, but historical evidence certainly suggests it may be.

You can check it yourself, in these articles:

Another anti-Semitism row that completely misses the point

‘Anti-Semitism’ accusation against Momentum vice-chair was ‘outrage’, say witnesses

Black and Minority Ethnic representatives line up to support Jackie Walker

Jackie Walker ruling betrays Momentum members | Letters | The Guardian

Jackie Walker’s crowdfunded action means Labour’s general secretary is facing TWO legal cases against him

As Ms Walker herself puts it: “Undertaking AS training led by the JLM? Ask for assurance you won’t be filmed, reported to the Party or the media.”

The reference to a “discredited definition of anti-Semitism that deliberately confused it with anti-Zionism” is important because the Jewish Labour Movement supports to the hilt the aggressive Zionism currently being practised in Israel, where Palestinians living on land that has been theirs for centuries are being forcibly removed by Israeli troops following a programme to restore the ancient borders of Israel (in defiance of the UN resolution that created the modern country in the first place).

Look on the organisation’s website. Last time I checked, its own mission statement read: “The Jewish Labour Movement is also affiliated to the Board of Deputies of British Jews*, the Zionist Federation of the UK, and organise within the World Zionist Organisation… Our objects: To maintain and promote Labour or Socialist Zionism as the movement for self-determination of the Jewish people within the state of Israel.”

“Zionist”… “Zionist”… “Zionism”… “within the state of Israel”.

As I wrote, several years ago: “It seems clear that “Jewish Labour Movement” is a misnomer. It should be “Zionist Labour Movement”.”

And – I reiterate – it is the poisonous, aggressive Zionism that (apparently) shoots Palestinians’ legs off just because they exist.

This is what Mr Katz is likely to be peddling at his training session on June 14 – and woe betide anybody attending it who does not agree with him!

So tell me, Labour Party members who have been invited to attend: Are you still keen to go, now that you know what might happen to you?

*Why is the Jewish Labour Movement associating itself with the Board of Deputies, an organisation dominated by Conservatives? Good question. But then, the JLM is open to people who aren’t members of the Labour Party. I wonder how many of them are dyed-in-the-wool Tories too.

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If you’re in England, the government is planning to hand your private health records to people you don’t know – again

Readers in England: are you happy that the Tory government is about to pass private details of your mental and sexual health, criminal records, smoking and drinking habits to profiteers?

Tory-run NHS Digital will hand over the medical histories of more than 55 million patients to “third parties” to “support the planning and commissioning of health and care services, the development of health and care policy, public health monitoring and interventions (including COVID-19) and enable many different areas of research.”

The announcement is carefully worded to avoid suggesting that your details are going to people who plan to make money out of them, but the simple fact is that, before privatisation was introduced in 2012, nobody but the NHS would have needed your records for the reasons given.

You can opt out of the scheme before June 23 by providing this online form to your GP – or by using this website. I strongly urge you to do so – and to ignore the “mythbusting” section of the website in which the Tories say it’s all perfectly innocent. They would, wouldn’t they?

If you think the Tories can be trusted on this, bear in mind that NHS Digital said the data could not be used “solely for commercial purposes”, which means that it will be used partly for commercial purposes.

Digital rights campaign group Foxglove has written to health secretary Matt Hancock suggesting that this plan is illegal.

And campaigners have also raised concerns that the scheme has not been sufficiently publicised. Did you know about it before reading this?

Healthcare IT News quoted Phil Booth of privacy organisation MedConfidential as follows:

“For the Government to rush out a data grab like this, with only a few weeks’ notice for patients and for GPs, is not only corrosive of trust – it’s deeply irresponsible. GPs are the busiest they’ve ever been and dumping this on them without time to prepare and the resources to handle patients’ opt-outs is the very worst sort of digital disruption.”

Absolutely.

NHS Digital is desperate to convince us that the data could only be used by “organisations which can show they have an appropriate legal basis and a legitimate need to use it”.

But recent experiences of health secretary Matt Hancock’s dealings with the private sector suggest that the database will go to anybody who has bunged the Tory Party a few quid over the last 10 or 20 years.

And, let’s face it, the Tories have a very poor record of trying to sell off your NHS records for a quick buck.

It’s one of the stories that has kept repeating over the last (nearly) 10 years, and This Site has reported on its progress:

The Tories tried to put GP records in a central database in 2013 under the Care.data programme, but it was abandoned in 2016 after confidentiality complaints.

My report of the time shows that the Tories are still using the same weak excuse for exploiting your private data, that failed to convince anyone eight years ago:

[Then-Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt] thinks this gross abuse of patient confidentiality is a good idea. But then, he’s a Tory and therefore thinks he has a God-given right to take anything, from anyone, if they have less filthy lucre than himself.

According to the Daily Mail – and you know the Tories have lost the plot when even the Heil weighs in against them – the *unt wants us to believe that the information will be valuable for medical research and screening for common diseases.

Doctors say Mr *unt and NHS England have failed in their duty to publicise the plan in a proper and reasonable way, that patients are not getting an “informed” choice about the matter, and that patients could be identified from the data with any information other than that on common conditions – which, we’ve already established, becomes public knowledge anyway.

Same excuses, same failure to publicise the plan… so we have all the same reasons to withdraw our permission. Don’t we?

I reported on it again in 2014.

And in 2016, after a review into care.data recommended that the scheme be scrapped, the Tories tried to sell your information anyway, but just without telling you.

Again, This Site reported on it:

The government’s review proposes to allow medical records from your family doctor, (possibly including NHS Numbers, diagnoses, referrals, prescriptions along with postcodes and dates of birth) to be uploaded to a giant national database – but this time without telling us or asking for our consent.

One of the schemes to replace care.data is called the “Single GP dataset”. The government’s review into care.data proposes to send all patient records from family GPs to the central database without the express consent of patients. Once in the system, it can be “sold” to any customers of the ‘Health and Social Care Information centre”, including private companies.

The government buried this announcement on the day of the report into the Iraq War. It is hoping no one will notice this new land grab on our medical records.

But people did notice.

And now I’m reporting on it again, so you will notice it again. I hope you will put a stop to it again, too.

And then I’ll look forward to reporting on another Tory bid to sell this information.

Judging by experience, we’ll be back here again in 2025.

Source: Privacy fears over NHS plans to share GP medical records with third parties | Healthcare IT News

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If PIP assessments are now being audio recorded, can claimants have copies?

Days after This Site noted that the Department for Work and Pensions is running trials of video assessments for Personal Independence Payment – and other benefit – claims, we find that the Tories are already recording telephone assessment interviews.

This is very interesting because the recording of assessments has been a roasting-hot potato ever since it was first suggested.

The most recent statement of the situation was that, in order to have an assessment recorded, a claimant needed to bring a piece of tape-recording equipment worth around £1,400 to the interview, capable of recording on two tapes at the same time, with one to be held by the interviewer and one by the interviewee.

The DWP – and by extension, assessors at Atos and Capita – has a small number of these devices, but their scarcity meant it was hard to be sure of securing one for an interview.

This led to some charitable people buying the equipment in order to lend it to benefit claimants who needed it. I’m sure it also led to less charitable people renting the same equipment out for money.

With the announcement that Atos is recording telephone assessments, though, hasn’t that situation changed?

If the assessment company is making recordings unilaterally, does it still have to use the same equipment as in previous stipulations?

Will it have to provide claimants with copies?

If it doesn’t have to use the prescribed equipment, why not? And does this mean claimants don’t have to use it either and can make their own recordings? If not, why not? There must be a level playing-field for these matters.

Here’s Benefits and Work on this:

IAS (Atos) have begun recording telephone assessments for personal independence payment (PIP) Therese Coffey, secretary of state for work and pensions, told the Work and Pensions Committee on Wednesday 30 September.

Coffey told the committee that IAS had begun recording the assessments on 21 September.*

“But that has not yet started with Capita. That is under, I can assure you, active management to get Capita going quickly on this

claimants must ask to have their assessment recorded, it will not be done automatically.

You are likely to need to arrange this in advance. The earlier you request a recording the better, as a new appointment may need to be arranged.

I note that the website’s authors say the DWP will not give permission for claimants to make their own recordings – and say they should do it themselves, clandestinely, if they feel they need to:

You may still consider it sensible to record the assessment yourself just in case the DWPs recording goes astray. Though you will need to do this covertly as the DWP will not give permission.

We would still strongly recommend that claimants consider making a covert recording of their assessment, just in case the DWP’s copy goes astray when you challenge a decision.

The suggestion that copies of assessors’ audio recordings can go “astray” indicates that the DWP and its privately-contracted assessors are as untrustworthy as ever (75 per cent of benefit refusals are now being overturned at appeal).

This is worth chasing up. I’ll ask the DWP what’s going on and let you know the answer.

Source: PIP assessments now being audio recorded

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Johnson’s popularity hits record low – but Bercow says he won’t quit as he’s not ‘accountable’

Speaking out: John Bercow (here piectured at the Bingham Lecture), one of the straight-talkers of recent Parliamentary history.

Boris Johnson won’t quit as prime minister because he leads a government that doesn’t believe in accountability for its failures.

That’s the verdict from former Commons Speaker John Bercow after a poll of Conservative Party members put him second to last among cabinet figures with a record low satisfaction rating of -10.3:

The prime minister recorded a net satisfaction rating of -10.3 in a survey of party members, coming in second to last among cabinet figures.

The prime minister recorded -10.3 in ConservativeHome’s latest cabinet league table, coming in second to last among cabinet figures.

His rating was better only than that of his education secretary Gavin Williamson, who scored -43.1.

I have to include this bit:

Johnson’s rating is likely to be dipping in part because of his initial handling of the pandemic and the number of deaths the UK has suffered.

The urge to be sarcastic and say, “Oh really? Well I never!” is very strong. Of course it’s because he has failed in the principle duty of government which is to protect the people of the United Kingdom.

@RussInCheshire has been brutally funny about it in his regular The Week In Tory tweets:

I’ve quoted some extra tweets in the thread because they support the idea that Johnson doesn’t believe in accountability for himself or his government: he treats us with contempt by repeating a promise that he has already broken; he failed to punish a man (again) for breaking Covid-19 restriction because it was his dad; he treated the deadly threat of Covid-19 as though it was nothing to get het up about; and his own MPs – who are het up about it – turned on him in an expression of frustration at their utter inability to instil in him any sense of responsibility at all.

So we come to former Commons Speaker John Bercow’s appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today (October 6), in which he delivered the home truth we all knew but nobody else seemed willing to say:

(Death Secretary = Matt Hancock, if you didn’t know.)

As if to prove Mr Bercow’s point, Rishi Sunak turned up on Tory mouthpiece BBC Breakfast to sell a load of old tripe to us about Covid-19 tests. He was not challenged on his lie and was therefore not held accountable for it:

Ultimately, the fault for the government lies with us, the people of the UK.

With every new disaster I am reminded of the Joseph de Maistre line, “Every nation gets the government it deserves.”

The UK had a chance to elect a government that would have been much better than Johnson’s, and didn’t.

I’m thinking particularly of the former “Red Wall” constituencies who switched to Johnson because a majority of people there wanted Brexit at any cost.

Well, they’re getting it. I wonder how many people have to die before they accept that the cost is too high, and their current defiance means my guess is that they will probably have to lose some of their own relatives, or face a risk to their own lives, before the message sinks in.

Source: Boris Johnson’s popularity falls to record low among Tory members

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NHS doctors were told not to list coronavirus on death certificates. Why?

False information: the NHS is fighting a deadly pandemic, so why would medical staff willingly record a false cause of death? That would be storing up trouble for themselves in the future. That doesn’t make sense so somebody else is responsible.

Coronavirus deaths could be going unreported after doctors at an NHS trust were told they don’t have to list it on patients’ death certificates.

Now, why on Earth would anybody want to falsify coronavirus deaths? Who on Earth would want to create misleading figures? Who would benefit?

Well… doctors don’t take orders from lower-ranking members of their profession, so they were told to do it by someone above them.

As it was trust-wide, we may conclude that somebody outside it issued the order; nobody within it would falsify records of their own free will, in This Writer’s opinion. Why would it occur to them?

The Tories have claimed the guidance was the responsibility of the trust. But why would they do that without a good reason? What I’m saying is…

Realistically, and tell me if I’m jumping the gun here, the only people who are going to ask a National Health Service trust to record an inaccurate cause of death is the Conservative government.

So it seems the Tories wanted to force doctors to pretend the number of deaths – in hospital – is dropping.

This suggests they want to pretend the pandemic is easing off.

And this suggests they want us to think it will soon be over and we can all go back to work.

But if we do, and it isn’t over… then more of us will catch the disease and for many of them, it will be all over, very soon thereafter.

So it seems the government may be deliberately trying to bring about the deaths of some of us.

Isn’t there a word for that?

The Good Law Project said it has obtained a leaked document telling medics that recording “pneumonia or community-acquired pneumonia” as the direct cause of death was acceptable.

The unnamed trust’s guidance contradicts that issued by the Government, which says Covid-19 is an “acceptable direct or underlying cause of death” on a death certificate.

The group claims the guidance from the trust states: “‘Doctors are asked to use the standard MCCD (Medical Certificate of Cause of Death) form to certify death. ‘Pneumonia ‘or ‘community acquired pneumonia’ are acceptable at 1(a) on the MCCD.

“There is no requirement to write COVID 19 as part of the MCCD. It may be mentioned at 1(b) on the form, should the doctor wish.’”

The Good Law Project said the document states Covid-19 may be mentioned in a different section of the form relating to indirect causes of death “should the doctor wish”.

Whoever is responsible, the legerdemain has been discovered and the damage will be stopped.

This time.

What next?

Source: NHS doctors ‘told they don’t need to list coronavirus on death certificates’ – Mirror Online

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Another pack of lies over PIP assessment shows they should ALL be recorded

Some fools are going to say “this is a grandmother-of-10; hasn’t she got enough relatives to help her cope with this benefit cut?”

Silly, silly people – who have probably never had to rely on the charity of their own families. Different people have different circumstances and it is wrong to expect particular results in situations about which you know nothing.

So let’s progress to the substantive issue: the claim that Janet Williams, of Shirehampton, Bristol, lost almost half of her PIP payments because an assessor lied about what happened during an interview.

Ms Williams, 59, has severe arthritis in both knees, and one leg is two inches shorter than the other after three operations, making walking extremely painful.

She has fibromyalgia and a swollen spine, feet and knees, and she also has anxiety, depression and stress.

But after the interview, her Personal Independence Payments were slashed from £148.85 a week to £82 a week – and the Department for Work and Pensions also took away her mobility car.

She was left housebound.

At an appeal tribunal, the assessor said Ms Williams had refused to be examined; Ms Williams herself said the woman had decided not to carry it out because she could see that Ms Williams was in pain.

The assessor also said Ms Williams had said she could walk a mile to her GP surgery; Ms Williams said she had not been asked that question.

These claims could have been resolved easily – if the DWP habitually ensured its assessments were recorded.

But that’s the last thing the DWP wants – which is why it has demanded that assessments may only be recorded on a Neal CD Interview Recorder which claimants must buy at a cost of £1,400 each.

How many benefit claimants do you know with that kind of many going spare?

So Ms Williams must go without her benefit and her car.

And the DWP can gloat in the knowledge that it has got away with this trick yet again.

Source: Gran-of-10 ‘cut off outside world’ after DWP almost halved her PIP benefits – Bristol Live

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Disabled people are fighting flawed benefit decisions – with help from their MP. Will yours join in?

More of this please, MPs!

The Department for Work and Pensions has put ridiculous conditions on the recording of benefit assessments.

So Labour MP Dan Carden has taken it upon himself to meet those conditions.

Funny how it’s never any Conservative MPs doing this, isn’t it?

Perhaps one or two would like to prove me wrong.

Disabled people in Liverpool will be given the chance to fight flawed benefit decisions made by the Department of Work and Pensions.

Work capability assessments carried out by private companies like Atos, Capita and Maximus have been criticised for regularly producing flawed decisions.

Now Liverpool Walton MP Dan Carden has joined the ‘On The Record’ campaign, started in Sheffield and Manchester – which has seen a campaign group called Disabled People Against Cuts raise cash to purchase recording kit that claimants can take to benefit assesments.

Disabled people say that when assessments are recorded, they are far more likely to result in accurate decisions – saving disabled people months of stress and hardship fighting appeals to get the support they are entitled to.

Source: How disabled people in Liverpool are fighting back against flawed DWP decisions – Liverpool Echo

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Buy the latest Christmas charity song, with a naughty title – and a serious message {EXTREME LANGUAGE]

“What a lark”: Jarvis Cocker is thrilled that his song is the centre of the campaign – and all proceeds will go to Shelter.

Campaigners are hoping to rebuild an atmosphere of “inclusivity, representation, love, acceptance and kindness” – by getting a song to the top of the Christmas charts called C*nts Are Still Running The World.

A Facebook group has been launched to get the song to Number One and it seems that people are joining the campaign in a big way – as a comment on the Conservative general election victory earlier this month.

And the great news is that all proceeds will go to Shelter, to help relieve the huge homelessness crisis that has been created by Conservatives like Boris Johnson.

If you’re unfamiliar with this particular opus, here it is (be warned: the lyrics feature one word that many consider to be extremely strong language):

Did you like that?

If so, buy it here: https://uk.7digital.com/artist/jarvis-cocker/release/running-the-world

And hurry!

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Tory-run DWP’s impossible demand over recording of assessment interviews

Do you think this is corrupt?

The Department for Work and Pensions has demanded that anybody who wants their benefit assessment interview recorded must pay £1,400 for specialist recording equipment.

The Tory-run government department says people applying for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) must buy a NEAL CD Interview Recorder, costing £1,400, or the evidence won’t be accepted.

This creates an impossible dilemma for claimants. If the interview isn’t recorded, they can’t challenge the DWP on a decision based on lies.

But if someone can afford to splurge £1,400 on recording equipment, why do they need to claim benefits?

At least, that will be the question asked by the DWP.

But the real question should be this: People have been demanding the opportunity to have assessments recorded for at least six years. Why hasn’t the DWP invested in the equipment itself?

This is especially perplexing as demand for such recordings increased from nine, according to Mark Hoban in 2013, to thousands, according to iNews in 2016. But the DWP had still failed to invest in the necessary equipment.

Back in 2013, Mr Hoban said the benefits had to be balanced against the costs.

At the time, I suggested that the costs would be offset by the savings from having to hold fewer appeal tribunals. Today, we can add savings from fewer benefit reviews.

Another time (in an article I can’t locate at the moment), I pointed out that all assessors have all the equipment they need to provide adequate recordings – because they all use laptop computers that are capable of recording sound.

The only obstacle is the DWP’s own refusal to accept such evidence.

So it seems clear that the whole issue of recording PIP assessments has been unnecessarily complicated by the DWP and the Conservative government running it.

The Labour Party has promised to change the system – and we have an election coming up on December 12.

Will you vote the Tories out and help bring sanity back into the benefit system?

Source: Disabled benefit claimants ‘told they must fork out £1,400 to record interviews’ – Mirror Online

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
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