The future of hangs in the balance

Jane Fae writes for Open Democracy:

The future of hangs in the balance. In the last week, rival proposals from government and by critics, have offered parliament radically different diagnoses – and cures – for the malaise now afflicting the scheme. In the end, though, the question remains: is this all too little, too late? Can recover from here?

First up was a government narrative that differed little from what we have been hearing over the last few months. According to Dr Daniel Poulter, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health, the issue was mostly one of public re-assurance. Government had already put in place far greater safeguards over patient data than had existed previously. He blamed poor communication.

However, as part of the process of re-establishing public confidence he was putting forward three amendments to the Care Bill: re-stating the duty to respect and promote the privacy of patients; locking the HSCIC into disseminating information only where this would be for “the provision of health care or adult social care”; and requiring the HSCIC to “have regard to any advice given to it by the committee appointed by the Health Research Authority under paragraph 8(1) of Schedule 7 to the Care Act 2014”. This is the Confidentiality Advisory Group.

Would this be enough to silence the doubters? Probably not.