The care.data engagement – is it going to jilt citizens after all? A six month summary in twenty-five posts.

[Note update Sept 19th: after the NHS England AGM in the evening of Sept 18th – after this care.data engagement post published 18hrs earlier – I managed to ask Mr.Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information, in person what was happening with all the engagement feedback and asked why it had not been made publicly available.

He said that the events’ feedback will be published before the pathfinder rollout begins, so that all questions and concerns can be responded to and that they will be taken into account before the pathfinders launch.

When might that be, I asked? ‘Soon’.

Good news? I look forward to seeing that happen. My open questions on commercial uses and more, and those of many others I have heard, have been captured in previous posts, in particular the most recent at the end of this post. – end of update.]

Medical data has huge power to do good, but it presents risks too. When leaked, it cannot be unleaked. When lost, public trust cannot be easily regained. That’s what broken-hearted Ben Goldacre wrote about care.data on February 28th of this year, ten days after the the pause was announced on February 18th [The Guardian] .

Fears and opinions, facts and analysis, with lots and lots of open questions. That’s what I’ve written up in the following posts related to care.data since then, including my own point-of-view and feedback from other citizens, events and discussions. All my care.data posts are listed here below, in one post, to give an overview of the whole story, and any progress in the six months ‘listening’ and ‘engagement’.

So what of that engagement? If there really have been all these events and listening, why has there been not one jot of public feedback published? This is from September 2014, I find it terrifyingly empty of anything but discussing change in communications of the status quo programme.

I was at that workshop, hosted by Mencap on communicating

with vulnerable and excluded groups the article mentions. It was carefully managed, with little open room discussion to share opinions cross groups (as the Senior Policy Adviser at Signature pointed out.) Whilst we got the NHS England compilation of the group feedback afterwards, it was not published. Maybe I should do that and ask how each concern will be addressed? I didn’t want to stand on the NHS England national comms. toes, assuming it would be, but you know, what? If the raw feedback says from all these meetings, these are our concerns and we want these changes, and none are forthcoming, then the public should justifiably question the whole engagement process.

It’s public money, and the public’s data. How both are used and why, is not to be hidden away in some civil service spreadsheet. Publish the business case. Publish the concerns. Publish how they are to be addressed.

From that meeting and the others I have been to, many intelligent questions from the public remain unanswered. The most recent care.data advisory workshop summarised many from the last year, and brought out some minority voices as well.

 

On the day of NHS Citizen, the new flagship of public involvement, people like me who attended the NHS England Open Day on June 17th, or care.data listening events, may be understandably frustrated that there is no publicly available feedback or plan of any next steps.
care.data didn’t make it into the NHS Citizen agenda for discussion for the 18th. [Many equally other worthy subjects did, check them out here if not attending or watch it online.] So from where will we get any answers? Almost all the comment, question and feedback I have heard at events has been constructively critical, and worthy of response. None is forthcoming.

 

Instead, the article above, this reported speech by Mr.Kelsey and its arguments, make me think engagement is going nowhere. No concerns are addressed. PR is repeated. More facts and figures which are a conflation of data use for clinical treatment and all sorts of other uses, are presented as an argument for gathering more data.

Citizens do not need told of the benefits. We need concrete steps taken in policy, process and practice, to demonstrate why we can now trust the new  system.

Only then is it worthwhile to come back to communications.

How valued is patient engagement in reality, if it is ignored?

How will involvement continue to be promoted in NHS Citizen and other platforms, if it is seen to be ineffective?

How might this affect future programmes and our willingness to get involved in clinical research?

I sincerely hope to see the raw feedback published very soon, which NHS England has gathered in their listening events. How that will be incorporated into any programme changes, as well as  communications, will go a long way to assuring the quantity in numbers and quality of cross-population participation.

The current care.data status is in limbo, as we await to see if and when any ‘pathfinder’ CCGs will be announced that will guinea pig the patient records from the GP practices in a trial rollout, in whatever form that may take. The latest official statements from Mr.Kelsey have been on 100-500 practices, but without any indicator of where or when. He suggests ‘shortly’.

What next for care.data? I’ll keep asking the questions and hope we hear some answers from the NHS England Patients and Information Directorate. Otherwise, what was the [&88!@xY!] point of a six month pause and all these efforts and listening?

Publish the business case. Publish the concerns. Publish how they are to be addressed.

What is there to hide?

After this six-month engagement, will there be a happy ending? I feel patients are about to be left jilted at the eleventh hour.
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You’ll find my more recent posts [last] have more depth and linked document articles if you are looking for more detailed information.

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March 31st: A mother’s journey – intro

March 31st: Transparency

April 3rd: Communication & Choice

April 4th: Fears & Facts

April 7th: What is care.data? Defined Scope is vital for Trust

April 10th: Raw Highlights from the Health Select Committee

April 12th: care.data Transparency & Truth, Remit & Responsibility

April 15th: No Security Blanket : why consent packages fail our kids

April 18th: care.data : Getting the Ducks in a Row

April 23rd: an Ode to care.data (on Shakespeare’s anniversary)

May 3rd: care.data, riding the curve: Change Management

May 15th: care.data the 4th circle: Empowerment

May 24th: Flagship care.data – commercial uses in theory [1]

June 6th: Reality must take Precedence over Public Relations

June 14th: Flagship care.data – commercial use with brokers [2]

June 20th: The Impact of the Partridge Review on care.data

June 24th: On Trying Again – Project Lessons Learned

July 1st: Communications & Core Concepts [1] Ten Things Learned at the Open House on care.data and part two: Communications and Core Concepts [2] – Open House 17th June Others’ Questions

July 12th: Flagship care.data – commercial use in Practice [3]

July 25th: care.data should be like playing Chopin – review after the HSCIC Data Sharing review ‘Driving Positive Change’ meeting

July 25th: Care.data should be like playing Chopin – but will it be all the right notes, in the wrong order? Looking forwards.

August 9th: care.data and genomics : launching lifeboats [Part One] the press, public reaction and genomics & care.data interaction

August 9th: care.data and genomics : launching lifeboats [Part Two] Where is the Engagement?

September 3rd: care.data – a Six Month Pause, Anniversary round up [Part one] Open questions: What and Who?

September 3rd: care.data – a Six Month Pause, Anniversary round up [Part two] Open questions: How, Why, When?

September 16th: care.data cutouts – Listening to Minority Voices Includes questions from those groups.

September 16th: care.data – “Anticipating Things to Come” means Confidence by Design

October 30th: patient questions on care.data – an open letter

November 19th: questions remain unanswered: what do patients do now?

December 9th: Rebuilding trust in care.data

December 24th: A care.data wish list for 2015

2015 (updated after this post was published, throughout the year)

January 5th 2015: care.data news you may have missed

January 21st 2015: care.data communications – all change or the end of the line?

February 25th 2015: care.data – one of our Business Cases is Missing.

March 14th 2015: The future of care.data in recent discussions

March 26th 2015: Wearables: patients will ‘essentially manage their data as they wish’. What will this mean for diagnostics, treatment and research and why should we care? [#NHSWDP 3]

May 10th 2015: The Economic Value of Data vs the Public Good? [1] care.data, Concerns and the cost of Consent

The Economic Value of Data vs the Public Good? [2] Pay-for-privacy, defining purposes

The Economic Value of Data vs the Public Good? [3] The value of public voice.

May 14th 2015: Public data in private hands – should we know who manages our data?

June 20th 2015: Reputational risk. Is NHS England playing a game of public confidence?

June 25th 2015: Digital revolution by design: building for change and people (1)

July 13th 2015: The nhs.uk digital platform: a personalised gateway to a new NHS?

July 27th 2015: care.data : the economic value of data versus the public interest? (First published in StatsLife)

August 4th 2015: Building Public Trust in care.data sharing [1]: Seven step summary to a new approach

August 5th, 2015: Building Public Trust [2]: a detailed approach to understanding Public Trust in data sharing

August 6th 2015: Building Public Trust in care.data datasharing [3]: three steps to begin to build trust

August 12th 2015: Building Public Trust [4]: “Communicate the Benefits” won’t work for care.data

August 17th 2015: Building Public Trust [5]: Future solutions for health data sharing in care.data

September 12th 2015: care.data: delayed or not delayed? The train wreck that is always on time

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Questions, ideas, info & other opinions continue to be all welcome. I’ll do my best to provide answers, or point to source sites.

For your reference and to their credit, I’ve found the following three websites useful and kept up to date with news and information:

Dr. Bhatia, GP in Hampshire’s care.data info site

HSCIC’s care.data site

medConfidential – campaign for confidentiality and consent in health and social care – seeking to ensure that every flow of data into, across and out of the NHS and care system is consensual, safe and transparent

 

 

 

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