Recently it was suggested to me that in the early adopter areas for these records, the ability to "opt-out" was very restrictive. Whilst everyone had the right to do so, they were often pressurised into doing it, or, as my source suggested, requests for opt-out were not quickly actions and in some cases were just ignored.
I decided to ask the Department of Health about this, and in response discoevred something much more amusing/concerning. To start with, the DoH told me they didn't hold opt-out rates centrally but then assured me it was less than 1%, however, it was the input rate for the Summary Care Records onto the "spine" that caught my eye.
Currently, there are five early adopter Primary Care Trusts involved in the projects. They are Bolton PCT, Bradford and Airedale Teaching PCT, Bury PCT, Dorset PCT and South Birmingham PCT, and they started to upload records in 2007. According to the DoH,
As at the beginning of July 2008, medical information in respect of some 163,000 summary care records had been uploaded to the spine at the small number of early adopter sites where this phase of the NHS CRS has already gone live.That's 163,000 records in areas that have population far in excess of the uploaded figure. In fact, let us to some rather quick and dirty maths.
If we assume that the population of the country minus the 1% opt-out is approximately 60 million people, then so far, in about a year, they have managed to upload 0.2% of the final total of records to the system. So it's going to take them approximately 5 years to upload 1%, meaning that at current rate they will have uploaded everyone (currently alive) in 500 years times.
I wonder if Microsoft Project can generate a Gant Chart with that sort of delivery timescale on it? Government IT projects huh? Don't you just love'em? Data entry jobs are clearly the future for Brtiain's unemployed!