You need to take action now.
A new register of NHS patient data has been created, the "General Practice Data for Planning and Research".
Patient data from doctors' surgeries in England will be shared from 1 July 2021 unless patients opt out by 23 June 2021.
The overt reason for this is, among other things, to "enable many different areas of research". That is laudable, and most patients will not argue with their data being used in this way. But there is no doubt that the government also plans to sell the data if it can. In 2019 the government had a meeting with Amazon, Microsoft, AstraZeneca and others in which they discussed how to package our data.
We in the LibDems have no problem with our data being used for medical research. But the fundamental principle with all data is that it should be under the control of the subject.
You are the patient. Your data should belong to you. You should be the person who gets to decide how your data is used.
If you do not opt out by 23rd June you will lose control of your data. After that time, you will only be able to prevent the government adding new data to its database; you will not be able to liberate previous data.
medConfidential has produced a guide to opting out of the new data grab. We advise everyone reading this to go to their guide and use it to opt out. That is the only way to keep your data safe. medConfidential also has a full guide to the issue for patients, available here.
More details about this issue are available in this article by The Register.