GP vows to take battle with the NHS through the courts

Dr Gordon Gancz

Dr Gordon Gancz

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

A CITY GP who has vowed to defy controversial NHS plans to collect patient data said he is prepared to fight the ruling through the courts.

Health bosses warned Dr Gordon Gancz, that he will be in breach of his contract if he refuses to hand over 4,000 patient records under the “care.data” plan.

Records will be passed on to NHS England, unless patients opt out, in a move bosses say will help identify where service improvements are needed.

But the King Edward Street Surgery GP will only hand over records if patients give their consent.

An email to the practice from NHS England said: “GPs are required to comply with all relevant legislation as part of their contract and to allow NHS England access to information.

“We therefore believe any GP who prevents the care.data extraction by opting out of part or the whole of his list without their consent to be in breach of his contract.”

Dr Gancz, who has spent all his 38 years as a GP at the practice, opposes the plan on principle and said few patients know of it.

He said: “If they change the rules of the contract half way through, we don’t have get to have a new contract saying ‘we will sign up’.

“Presumably they can say ‘you are in breach of your contract, you are no longer an NHS doctor’.

“If they do that I will take them to court.”

Records and patients’ date of birth, postcode, NHS number and gender will be given to the Health & Social Care Information Centre.

Dr Gancz said: “It removes my right to protect my patients’ confidential information.

“Someone other than your own doctor will know whether you have had a mental health problem, an abortion, gone to the STI clinic or just had a cold in the last week.”

He warned “there isn’t a database in the world that isn’t crackable” and said patients could be identified using the electoral roll. He added: “We have to play a waiting game. I’m prepared to stand by what I have done.”

An NHS England spokesman said: “We want patients to understand how important their information is to improving outcomes and ensuring we all receive the highest standards of care.

“If a patient wishes to object to their information being used for purposes beyond their direct care, they must do so autonomously, based on balanced, accurate information about how and why their information will be used.

“It is not right for GP practices to make this decision on their patients’ behalf.”

City centre resident Susan Twardowski said: “I am a bit of a libertarian myself, so I agree with what he is doing.”

  • A LEAFLET called Better information means better care has been delivered by NHS England to homes about the changes.
  • Patient records and date of birth, full postcode, NHS number and gender will be provided to the Health & Social Care Information Centre, which collates data on the NHS and social care.
  • Patient hospital data has long been collected and published on issues like waiting times and death rates.
  • But about 90 per cent of patients’ contact with the NHS is outside major hospitals and supporters say the plans are vital for the NHS to work together across all services.
  • The leaflet says records “are linked in a secure system”, adding: “Details that could identify you will be removed before your information is made available to others, such as those planning NHS services and approved researchers.”
  • It said benefits include ensuring local NHS organisations get the right amount of cash from Government, and understanding where people are most at risk of disease.

Comments (23)

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7:06am Sat 8 Feb 14

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

All of this information is available to the various government agencies already. Nothing about our daily lives, financial history, health or even internet browsing choices is confidential anymore and hasn't been for some time. The aim of this is to simply collate all health related items together on a central database to make it easier for our so called 'trustworthy' government to sell it to drug companies etc. Personally, I have already 'opted out' but in all honesty I doubt that will make a blind bit of difference because if they want the information they will get it.
All of this information is available to the various government agencies already. Nothing about our daily lives, financial history, health or even internet browsing choices is confidential anymore and hasn't been for some time. The aim of this is to simply collate all health related items together on a central database to make it easier for our so called 'trustworthy' government to sell it to drug companies etc. Personally, I have already 'opted out' but in all honesty I doubt that will make a blind bit of difference because if they want the information they will get it. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 4

9:28am Sat 8 Feb 14

MrsToR says...

An NHS England spokesman said “ It is not right for GP practices to make this decision on their patients’ behalf.” But it IS okay for NHS England & the government to opt us IN to the selling of our most personal of data !?! Oh the irony ~ Monty Python would have loved such a sketch! I totally applaud Dr Gancz and dearly wish that ALL GPs took their initial oath, to protect patients’ confidential information, as seriously as he is taking it. For this action alone, I would support this man all the way to the European Court and back ~ THANK YOU Dr Gancz
An NHS England spokesman said “ [...] It is not right for GP practices to make this decision on their patients’ behalf.” But it IS okay for NHS England & the government to opt us IN to the selling of our most personal of data !?! Oh the irony ~ Monty Python would have loved such a sketch! I totally applaud Dr Gancz and dearly wish that ALL GPs took their initial oath, to protect patients’ confidential information, as seriously as he is taking it. For this action alone, I would support this man all the way to the European Court and back ~ THANK YOU Dr Gancz MrsToR
  • Score: 72

11:40am Sat 8 Feb 14

Bicester retired says...

I have no problem at all for NHS to use my personal data to improve services. However my experience is that after staying in hospital twice in the past few years, I was bombarded with all sort of spam emails from claim companies and health insurance companies. I don't believe that it was pure coincidence and NHS are not giving me any confidence that my personal data are in safe hands.
I have no problem at all for NHS to use my personal data to improve services. However my experience is that after staying in hospital twice in the past few years, I was bombarded with all sort of spam emails from claim companies and health insurance companies. I don't believe that it was pure coincidence and NHS are not giving me any confidence that my personal data are in safe hands. Bicester retired
  • Score: 28

11:42am Sat 8 Feb 14

loubie22 says...

big brother has been around for years but for once it waould be nice to have some say in what is happening to our data -
big brother has been around for years but for once it waould be nice to have some say in what is happening to our data - loubie22
  • Score: 17

11:44am Sat 8 Feb 14

edinburghrocks says...

Dr Gordon Gancz you are a hero. Your integrity gives me hope. You have a my full support and if you require funds to fight your case please consider starting a crowed-funding campaign. You will get a lot of support I know. Very best wishes to you.
Dr Gordon Gancz you are a hero. Your integrity gives me hope. You have a my full support and if you require funds to fight your case please consider starting a crowed-funding campaign. You will get a lot of support I know. Very best wishes to you. edinburghrocks
  • Score: 46

12:00pm Sat 8 Feb 14

London Woman says...

Thank you, Dr Gancz..
Thank you, Dr Gancz.. London Woman
  • Score: 30

12:17pm Sat 8 Feb 14

zeeqbee says...

If only all GPs stood up to how bullying this govt is. Hero!
If only all GPs stood up to how bullying this govt is. Hero! zeeqbee
  • Score: 47

1:51pm Sat 8 Feb 14

MaBear says...

Thank you, Dr Gancz, for your support of our rights to privacy & your foresight. We will be following this story with interest.
Thank you, Dr Gancz, for your support of our rights to privacy & your foresight. We will be following this story with interest. MaBear
  • Score: 21

3:15pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Suzi48 says...

I have written a letter opting out but had no response from my GP practice so no not sure if they can or will honour this. However I am full of admiration and respect for this GP who has made a stand against even more government dictate. as he is acting with integrity in his patient's best interests. I do not know anyone who would like their private and confidential medical data shared with all and sundry especially private health firms who can purchase it for a paltry sum... Under the data protection act these same GPs would be under strict instructions to not share this with anyone other than other medical professionals, not even members of the patient's family, yet they are now expected to allow it to be shared widely with every Tom , Dick and Harry!!!!!
I have written a letter opting out but had no response from my GP practice so no not sure if they can or will honour this. However I am full of admiration and respect for this GP who has made a stand against even more government dictate. as he is acting with integrity in his patient's best interests. I do not know anyone who would like their private and confidential medical data shared with all and sundry especially private health firms who can purchase it for a paltry sum... Under the data protection act these same GPs would be under strict instructions to not share this with anyone other than other medical professionals, not even members of the patient's family, yet they are now expected to allow it to be shared widely with every Tom , Dick and Harry!!!!! Suzi48
  • Score: 18

9:46pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Suzi48 wrote:
I have written a letter opting out but had no response from my GP practice so no not sure if they can or will honour this. However I am full of admiration and respect for this GP who has made a stand against even more government dictate. as he is acting with integrity in his patient's best interests. I do not know anyone who would like their private and confidential medical data shared with all and sundry especially private health firms who can purchase it for a paltry sum... Under the data protection act these same GPs would be under strict instructions to not share this with anyone other than other medical professionals, not even members of the patient's family, yet they are now expected to allow it to be shared widely with every Tom , Dick and Harry!!!!!
Essentially, we are all "customers" of NHS England as a whole and our information is owned by it. The local GP is just a franchise holder that uses the "NHS" logo and processes our information under licence.
[quote][p][bold]Suzi48[/bold] wrote: I have written a letter opting out but had no response from my GP practice so no not sure if they can or will honour this. However I am full of admiration and respect for this GP who has made a stand against even more government dictate. as he is acting with integrity in his patient's best interests. I do not know anyone who would like their private and confidential medical data shared with all and sundry especially private health firms who can purchase it for a paltry sum... Under the data protection act these same GPs would be under strict instructions to not share this with anyone other than other medical professionals, not even members of the patient's family, yet they are now expected to allow it to be shared widely with every Tom , Dick and Harry!!!!![/p][/quote]Essentially, we are all "customers" of NHS England as a whole and our information is owned by it. The local GP is just a franchise holder that uses the "NHS" logo and processes our information under licence. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -9

7:34am Sun 9 Feb 14

joehudson says...

Thank you Dr Gancz
Thank you Dr Gancz joehudson
  • Score: 9

9:43am Sun 9 Feb 14

Barnabas928 says...

My medical details are private between my GP and myself: this fascist capitalist government have no right to share this data with everyone on the planet: a proven fact is that information is hackable. We should all take this "government" to Court for breach of our Human Rights. Hitler forced doctos to hand over the medical data of everyone, so that he could exterminate anyone he did not like.
My medical details are private between my GP and myself: this fascist capitalist government have no right to share this data with everyone on the planet: a proven fact is that information is hackable. We should all take this "government" to Court for breach of our Human Rights. Hitler forced doctos to hand over the medical data of everyone, so that he could exterminate anyone he did not like. Barnabas928
  • Score: 10

1:15pm Mon 10 Feb 14

MikeSivier says...

Dr Gancz is taking a principled stand on behalf of his patients. He doesn't know where their personal details will go if the government sells them, and he doesn't know what the buyers will do with them. It is well-known that the 'pseudonymising' process the government proposes to use will make it perfectly possible to identify every single person whose details are sold on, and commenters here have already raised fears that the information will be used to try to sell them health insurance.
People do not register with GP surgeries to be used as 'cash cows' for private firms. This is bad government and should be opposed.
Dr Gancz is taking a principled stand on behalf of his patients. He doesn't know where their personal details will go if the government sells them, and he doesn't know what the buyers will do with them. It is well-known that the 'pseudonymising' process the government proposes to use will make it perfectly possible to identify every single person whose details are sold on, and commenters here have already raised fears that the information will be used to try to sell them health insurance. People do not register with GP surgeries to be used as 'cash cows' for private firms. This is bad government and should be opposed. MikeSivier
  • Score: 11

2:26pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Nicola101 says...

This man should be applauded, not threatened - although is anyone really surprised by what this government gets up to? What, aren't they getting enough saleable information from our phone calls, texts and emails? Not quite detailed enough for GCHQ and the NSA?
My opt out letter is sitting right next to me waiting to be posted.
I've been out of the country for a few years. When I left, patient data was completely confidential. When did this change?
If the TTIP (the hushed up - not unlike this - trans-atlantic trade agreement between the USA and EU) goes through this will seem tame, in comparison. Our rights are disappearing faster than an MP's manifesto once elected.
Thank you, Oxford Mail, for speaking up when the mainstream media remains steadfastly silent.
And thank you, Dr Gancz, for your bravery and your moral stand.
This man should be applauded, not threatened - although is anyone really surprised by what this government gets up to? What, aren't they getting enough saleable information from our phone calls, texts and emails? Not quite detailed enough for GCHQ and the NSA? My opt out letter is sitting right next to me waiting to be posted. I've been out of the country for a few years. When I left, patient data was completely confidential. When did this change? If the TTIP (the hushed up - not unlike this - trans-atlantic trade agreement between the USA and EU) goes through this will seem tame, in comparison. Our rights are disappearing faster than an MP's manifesto once elected. Thank you, Oxford Mail, for speaking up when the mainstream media remains steadfastly silent. And thank you, Dr Gancz, for your bravery and your moral stand. Nicola101
  • Score: 9

2:59pm Mon 10 Feb 14

buttington says...

Well said Dr Gancz and Oxford Mail for reporting this.
I hope more doctors will follow your lead.
Well said Dr Gancz and Oxford Mail for reporting this. I hope more doctors will follow your lead. buttington
  • Score: 3

3:45pm Mon 10 Feb 14

minky93 says...

Well Done! Dr Gancz, I only hope other Doctors follow your lead & do the same. This heinous Government are trying to strip us of all our basic rights, they would not have been out of place in Victoria Britain.
Well Done! Dr Gancz, I only hope other Doctors follow your lead & do the same. This heinous Government are trying to strip us of all our basic rights, they would not have been out of place in Victoria Britain. minky93
  • Score: 3

4:11pm Mon 10 Feb 14

boodom says...

Thank goodness one GP has the boldness to take action against Summary Care Records.

I guess gagging orders keep other GP's silence.

£17 billion diverted from NHS funds for a system to enable drug companies to use us like guinea-pigs, as they promote their poorly trialled drugs, but could then trace the real results via SCR.

SCR is not a screening system to assist our health, if it was, they would have employed the whole GD Searle Medidata system of health screening, using computers and technicians to give the equivalent of 2 day medical helth check up in an afternoon using computers to assist doctors diagnosis and to detect the earliest point of disease. Computerised health records were a bi-product, and this technology goes back as far as the mid 1960's.

But that is not what has happened. They are only using the bi-product, to be used as a very powerful tool for social engineering. It is being used for all the reasons the Medidata system was rejected, even though the records were not going to leave the Medidata centres or GPs offices unless there was an accident, doctors could ask for vital details like blood type allergies etc.

Those in power of the time were closer to WWII, Hitler & Mussolini, and because no computer was deemed un-hackable the storing of computerised medical records on a central computer was rejected..

The consequences of what's happened today are truly horrendous as they continue to run down the NHS financially by diverting funds to this preposterous scheme. Manufacturing consent WITHOUT PUBLIC CONSULTATION, permitting such health workers as hospital porters access to our records, do you really think medical insurance companies have not already had a download of people's records to see if they are viable to insure or not? When the privatisation agenda is complete, NO ONE will be able to get Medical Insurance!

I wonder if that in itself is a case against privatisation?

I wish Dr Gordon Gancz all the very best and hope he wins.
Thank goodness one GP has the boldness to take action against Summary Care Records. I guess gagging orders keep other GP's silence. £17 billion diverted from NHS funds for a system to enable drug companies to use us like guinea-pigs, as they promote their poorly trialled drugs, but could then trace the real results via SCR. SCR is not a screening system to assist our health, if it was, they would have employed the whole GD Searle Medidata system of health screening, using computers and technicians to give the equivalent of 2 day medical helth check up in an afternoon using computers to assist doctors diagnosis and to detect the earliest point of disease. Computerised health records were a bi-product, and this technology goes back as far as the mid 1960's. But that is not what has happened. They are only using the bi-product, to be used as a very powerful tool for social engineering. It is being used for all the reasons the Medidata system was rejected, even though the records were not going to leave the Medidata centres or GPs offices unless there was an accident, doctors could ask for vital details like blood type allergies etc. Those in power of the time were closer to WWII, Hitler & Mussolini, and because no computer was deemed un-hackable the storing of computerised medical records on a central computer was rejected.. The consequences of what's happened today are truly horrendous as they continue to run down the NHS financially by diverting funds to this preposterous scheme. Manufacturing consent WITHOUT PUBLIC CONSULTATION, permitting such health workers as hospital porters access to our records, do you really think medical insurance companies have not already had a download of people's records to see if they are viable to insure or not? When the privatisation agenda is complete, NO ONE will be able to get Medical Insurance! I wonder if that in itself is a case against privatisation? I wish Dr Gordon Gancz all the very best and hope he wins. boodom
  • Score: 7

4:43pm Mon 10 Feb 14

boodom says...

Dr. Gordon Gancz is going to be up against all the corporates who've pushed the SCR agenda through.

Until the truth is revealed I suspect the corporations behind the government will be the biggest in the world.

Would it not be a good idea to set up a fund where the public can contribute towards Dr. Gancz's legal expenses against the government?
Dr. Gordon Gancz is going to be up against all the corporates who've pushed the SCR agenda through. Until the truth is revealed I suspect the corporations behind the government will be the biggest in the world. Would it not be a good idea to set up a fund where the public can contribute towards Dr. Gancz's legal expenses against the government? boodom
  • Score: 4

7:01pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Barnabas928 says...

Nicola101 wrote:
This man should be applauded, not threatened - although is anyone really surprised by what this government gets up to? What, aren't they getting enough saleable information from our phone calls, texts and emails? Not quite detailed enough for GCHQ and the NSA? My opt out letter is sitting right next to me waiting to be posted. I've been out of the country for a few years. When I left, patient data was completely confidential. When did this change? If the TTIP (the hushed up - not unlike this - trans-atlantic trade agreement between the USA and EU) goes through this will seem tame, in comparison. Our rights are disappearing faster than an MP's manifesto once elected. Thank you, Oxford Mail, for speaking up when the mainstream media remains steadfastly silent. And thank you, Dr Gancz, for your bravery and your moral stand.
Well said Nicola101

My father risked his life for 6 years in WW2, receiving bravery medals, in order to preserve our rights and freedoms from the likes of Hitler, who hungrily devoured medical information in order to dispose of anyone he did not value (eg. the weak),
Yet here we are 60 years later allowing this new breed of surreptitious fascists to take away our hard earned liberties.
Surely together we can win this war against these information-hungry beasts.
We cannot be certain about what type of government will rule us in the future, and this issue is extremely important, more so than we realize.
[quote][p][bold]Nicola101[/bold] wrote: This man should be applauded, not threatened - although is anyone really surprised by what this government gets up to? What, aren't they getting enough saleable information from our phone calls, texts and emails? Not quite detailed enough for GCHQ and the NSA? My opt out letter is sitting right next to me waiting to be posted. I've been out of the country for a few years. When I left, patient data was completely confidential. When did this change? If the TTIP (the hushed up - not unlike this - trans-atlantic trade agreement between the USA and EU) goes through this will seem tame, in comparison. Our rights are disappearing faster than an MP's manifesto once elected. Thank you, Oxford Mail, for speaking up when the mainstream media remains steadfastly silent. And thank you, Dr Gancz, for your bravery and your moral stand.[/p][/quote]Well said Nicola101 My father risked his life for 6 years in WW2, receiving bravery medals, in order to preserve our rights and freedoms from the likes of Hitler, who hungrily devoured medical information in order to dispose of anyone he did not value (eg. the weak), Yet here we are 60 years later allowing this new breed of surreptitious fascists to take away our hard earned liberties. Surely together we can win this war against these information-hungry beasts. We cannot be certain about what type of government will rule us in the future, and this issue is extremely important, more so than we realize. Barnabas928
  • Score: 6

4:57pm Tue 11 Feb 14

JayEvans says...

Well done Dr Gancz - you are a true GP who puts his patients first as shown by being totally against giving out patients medical records!
I applaud you and hope that many other GP's will do the same. It's about time people started taking stands against the government and I applaud Dr Gancz!
Well done Dr Gancz - you are a true GP who puts his patients first as shown by being totally against giving out patients medical records! I applaud you and hope that many other GP's will do the same. It's about time people started taking stands against the government and I applaud Dr Gancz! JayEvans
  • Score: 2

5:52pm Tue 11 Feb 14

FreeFred says...

Receiving even more "personalized" spam is the least of our problems if we do not oppose this data grab.
Insurance companies will jack up their rates, employers might reject job applicants based on medical history, even people in civil disputes might make use of the information.
This might also lead to delayed diagnoses or possible deaths if patients can't trust their doctor enough to be open about their health problems.
Why doesn't Dr Grancz and other doctors contact all of their patients and warn them about what is happening. Patients can then reply and opt in or out.
Receiving even more "personalized" spam is the least of our problems if we do not oppose this data grab. Insurance companies will jack up their rates, employers might reject job applicants based on medical history, even people in civil disputes might make use of the information. This might also lead to delayed diagnoses or possible deaths if patients can't trust their doctor enough to be open about their health problems. Why doesn't Dr Grancz and other doctors contact all of their patients and warn them about what is happening. Patients can then reply and opt in or out. FreeFred
  • Score: 1

12:00pm Fri 14 Feb 14

boodom says...

In response to FreeFred

Because of gagging orders.
This is the epitome of the 'manufacture of consent'
In response to FreeFred Because of gagging orders. This is the epitome of the 'manufacture of consent' boodom
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Bon Rurgundy says...

Barnabas928 wrote:
My medical details are private between my GP and myself: this fascist capitalist government have no right to share this data with everyone on the planet: a proven fact is that information is hackable. We should all take this "government" to Court for breach of our Human Rights. Hitler forced doctos to hand over the medical data of everyone, so that he could exterminate anyone he did not like.
I'll just leave this here for you...http://en.wiki
pedia.org/wiki/Godwi
n's_law
[quote][p][bold]Barnabas928[/bold] wrote: My medical details are private between my GP and myself: this fascist capitalist government have no right to share this data with everyone on the planet: a proven fact is that information is hackable. We should all take this "government" to Court for breach of our Human Rights. Hitler forced doctos to hand over the medical data of everyone, so that he could exterminate anyone he did not like.[/p][/quote]I'll just leave this here for you...http://en.wiki pedia.org/wiki/Godwi n's_law Bon Rurgundy
  • Score: 0

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