Your letter ‘Unacceptable referrals’ in last week's edition (CP, 07-01-22) raises more questions than answers.

I personally do not have a major issue about my medical data being shared with third parties if it might benefit others or indeed assist in my own treatment, but that said, I recognise it would be nice, and only polite, to be asked.

There will of course be many other patients, who for perfectly reasonable reasons, do not wish their personal medical history to be shared with third parties.

With waiting lists for treatment already unacceptable long, and elective surgeries yet again put on hold while theatre and support staff are redeployed helping with Covid and staff absences, if patients opt out of data sharing will this mean they will wait even longer for elective treatment?

The new Integrated Care Providers, (private companies providing health care on behalf of the NHS, using the NHS logo), now have a seat on hospital boards, and will be dividing up lucrative contracts to provide services, conveniently in secret behind closed doors.

Under resourced NHS Trusts crippled by staff shortages will be desperate to treat patients and have little option other than to embrace whatever IPC’s offer in the way of support.

Will patients opting out of data sharing become second class NHS patients, placed at the back of the queue?

If so, does this amount to an insidious form of intimidation and bullying, where NHS patients are penalised if they are not prepared to allow their personal medical data distributed amongst third parties?

Once this information is held in the private sector what assurances are there it won't be monetarist and traded to other third parties here and abroad?

There are so many unanswered questions amidst a worrying lack of open public debate.

Perhaps there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about, or perhaps there is, who knows?

One feels a growing sense that we are owned, or our personal history is, by an increasingly arrogant establishment, and it is there to be exploited at will in whatever way is seen fit, rather than our politicians and leaders being there to serving us.

Perhaps people are simply seen as a commodity to be exploited?

When one thinks back in history, say to the slave trade, hasn’t that always been the underlying British mentality and establishment view?

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