Friday, 26 November 2010

Big Brother Gets Bigger



The 1950's photograph shows a group of carefree Scottish children.  Today all will be well into their 60s or even early 70s.

Back then life was simple.  Your health was looked after by your family, the GP, health visitor and school nurse.  The professionals were only involved when family became concerned and home remedies had failed, although it was compulsory to visit the school nurse on her visits to your school.  If she found anything untoward she would pass the information to the family and perhaps the GP and/or health visitor.  It worked well as far as I'm aware and my myopia, resulting in a pair of pink plastic rimmed spectacles, was discovered by the school nurse.

My health file has followed me on my travels and I never had any problems until computer systems were introduced. Several times in recent years I've had to spend time giving specialists my medical history when it should have been available prior to my appointments.  On these occasions I've been convinced that the introduction of computers has done nothing to improve the NHS's modern system of record keeping.

But it has suddenly occurred to me that these systems are not for my, or your, benefit.  They're for the benefit of the state.  Take the eCare programme for example.  It's the umbrella for electronic sharing of personal data with Single Shared Assessment (SSA) and Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) - the English equivalent is Every Child Matters (ECM) - along with other programmes.  One aspect of the GIRFEC approach is it 'supports a positive shift in culture, systems and practice'.  What does that mean?  Why do children require a shift in culture?

Sheila Struthers has written an excellent essay in which she notes that every citizen has a unique eCare identifier, or as one EU study puts it:


In the absence of identity cards a form of information 'link' across the services is provided by the CHI (Community Health Index21) Number. 90% of residents (soon to be 100%) have the number, allocated within two days of birth, which is their date of birth plus a four-digit identifier. The CHI number functions as a 'pseudo-identity' mechanism, and at present the automated matching of records is successful in about 67% of operations, with manual matching then taking place and any data corrections being fed back into the respective databases. Thus the CHI number provides an incrementally improving mechanism to link records across the domains of social inclusion.


No wonder the UK Government decided to abolish ID cards.  One of Sheila's main points is that 'eCare and GIRFEC do not fit with the sensible-sounding draft principles which state that 'only the minimum amount of personal information needed for a specific purpose is collected, used or kept'.  She then analyses eCare and its associated programmes.  Please do read her article, including the SHANNARI assessment, because it is very revealing.

Another snippet she mentions is Triple P Parenting which Glasgow City Council is offering to every parent.  I've spent some time perusing the website of Triple P Parenting and it may well have some international status, but to think that 'practioners' can give professional advice after a few hours' training, appalled me.  There is, of course, no mention of cost to the client.  What do Triple P Parenting offer that is any better than what health visitors offered back in the 50s?  They understood every aspect of parenting and were the confidantes of many mothers, yet  they've been cast out into the wilderness to allow for the introduction of the likes of TPP.

Do I feel today that my family and myself are safer, health-wise and generally than they were in the 50s?  Definitely not. Our freedoms have been eroded little by little and no matter how much we protest we're ignored.  It's not in my nature to believe in conspiracies, but it's very obvious we're being much more tightly controlled than we were 50 years ago.  Big brother just gets bigger and it's going to get worse.

Remember, it's the taxpayer who pays.

27 comments:

Oldrightie said...

"But it has suddenly occurred to me that these systems are not for my, or your, benefit. They're for the benefit of the state. "
Ain't that the truth in many things?

RMcGeddon said...

And don't forget the 'generation Scotland' scheme SR.
28,000 Scots have voluntarily put all their bio data, mental state, income, social standing, genetic info, DNA and health info onto a single database. This datbase runs complimentary to the UK biobank. A research tool to be used worldwide to study the links between illness and hereditary causes. That database will be safe (not).
I thought the CHI number was unique to Tayside via the Walker database ? And the reason that Tayside is so useful to the biobank. A unique record of births in the Dundee area from mid 50's to mid 60's ?

subrosa said...

It's the truth in most things sadly OR. We are becoming slaves right enough.

subrosa said...

Oh RM, I'd forgotten about that. I'll look into the CHI business but I hae ma doots about anything in the NHS being unique. :)

Apogee said...

Hi SR.If you tie the information this will collect in with the EU's latest 'policing' initiatives for the EU, well, could be just me,but it could easily be the rebirth of the Stasi,or eventually something much worse.

English Pensioner said...

Our main salvation is that most of the computer systems don't really work. Information can't even get from the GP to the local hospital, let alone to one in another town. My wife needs regular blood tests, and when we had a long stay in Australia, she explained the reason and had it checked at a Sydney hospital; when we got to Melbourne, all the necessary information was there in the computer. I'm waiting until we have a couple of week's holiday in Scotland to see if they can manage to get the data from London to Edinburgh!

subrosa said...

Hi Apogee. It is very concerning that we're not told where and why information is held. So many coverups too.

subrosa said...

That'll be interesting EP. A couple of years ago when I had to see a round of specialists about a problem, my records were never available and I spent most of the appointment having to fill in the medic. That was all within one health authority.

Demetrius said...

All this lot is totally barmy. I do my own medical records and when needed simply hand over a copy of the full update to whoever the quack is. Normally they are pathetically grateful for something they can read in a couple of minutes, is accurate and up to date.

Anon said...

"Do I feel today that my family and myself are safer, health-wise and generally than they were in the 50s? Definitely not."

I tend to agree. The NHS has taken on a lot of extra staff, but, many of them are very poor quality.

On the other hand, back in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, there were a lot of top people in the UK who were fans of fascism and the feudal system. Not much has changed in that respect.

If Labour gets back into power in Scotland, there will be nuclear power stations all over the place, ruining our health; there will be thousands of extra bureaucrats; and there could be people like Mr Steven Purcell making decisions about drink and drugs?

Joe Public said...

What an intriguing photo. You'd never get an impromptu photo of a group of kids like that today.

Happy, content, none are obese. The lad on the right is even balancing on an upturned crate without any Personal-Protection-Equipment.

The lad on the left may have heeded the Health & Safety Risk Analysis, because he's holding on to the railing. [Note: is that a potentially-dangerous spike he's gripping?]


The photographer never had to have a CRB check; and, never faced accusations of being a paedophile just because his/her subjects were primary school-age youngsters.

subrosa said...

Demetrius, do tell me how you managed to possess your medical records. I've tried for some time but with no result.

subrosa said...

Anon, we train the best medics in the world so I can't agree that so many are of poor quality. I may agree within the present system for nursing certificates that could hold a wee bit of water, but where our doctors are concerned I would disagree.

Labour insisted that our medics, on EU orders, reduced their training.

Thus we have a large amount of medics moving overseas.

Politicians are responsible. It doesn't seem as if anyone cares about the emigration of our newly qualified medics.

People don't realise during their training they've been given the most up-to-date information available in the world.

subrosa said...

Thank you Joe. I initially intended to put up a personal photo from that era, but I know one of the group hasn't made it to 60, so I decided it perhaps wasn't appropriate without me blethering on.

Your points are sensible. Who can argue except those who insist that people can't take photographs, even of their own children, without consent.

banned said...

SR, ta for the trip down memory lane, the school nurse, the health visitor, home visits from the GP who had serviced your family for one or more generations.

The crucial point of your quote from Sheila Struthers is the opening "In the absence of identity cards...". The whole monster of NHS records is in response to the governments (of whatever colour) acceptance that we will not countenance peacetime ID cards.

The Spanish carry their medical records around with them on personal data chips that they can upload whenever they feel it necessary (ie they are treated like grown ups) while we trundle on with the bloated NHS Connecting For Health which will supposedly allowe secure and confidential access to all of our digital medical records to 500,000 essential health workers (plus anyone else in the public sector who fancies a gander).

14 years ago, at the start of the former socialist administration John Prescott promised to ABOLISH this "absurd Tory Quango" but then promptly resurected it under its present name.

The only good news is that when I asked one of its many many private sector 'consultants' "When will I be able to wake up in A&E in a strange town to find that the consulatant has my necessary details at his fingertips?", his response was "sometime never".

subrosa said...

It is a mess banned and it would be laughable if the information acquired wasn't in the hands of people who have no public accountability.

Sheila said...

Thank you for highlighting these issues.

"Preposterous" was my better half's comment when I tried to explain the research which was turning him into a computer widower.

I can understand why but unfortunately it is very real.

Elaine said...

Hi Subrosa ,
There is a lot of talk/spin/information based on everything being done 'for the sake of the children' and indeed it is very hard to convince the public that there is a problem when it is 'about the children' .Here is a Lisbon snippet from
http://www.home-education.biz/forum/general-discussion/12784-components-of-the-european-human-capital-index.html.
High levels of taxation, generous social benefits and strong labor market
regulations reduce labor force participation rates, hours worked and employment
and thereby lower the utilization rates of human capital. Generous early
retirement and pension schemes make older people retire many years before
statutory retirement ages (Gruber and Wise, 1999). Low labor force participation
rates of older workers imply that the time-horizons over which investments
in human capital are harvested are short. In addition, there are often weak
economic incentives to maintain skills through training on-the-job. Insurance
schemes for disability, unemployment, and sickness create important moral
hazard problems. Once out of work, older workers will often never be able to find a new job. Due to population ageing, the utilization rate of European human
capital falls and substantial parts of human capital stocks will be written off as workers retire."
.
And Lo and Behold we get this quiet tax on pension savings Europe calls the tune our puppets just dance to it
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ianmcowie/100008141/new-pension-tax-means-hmrc-will-get-most-of-some-pay-rises/

subrosa said...

It is indeed very real Sheila and we must be aware of it. Children are being indoctrinated to suit social engineering and all their opinions will be recorded.

What can I do? Nothing. It takes more than a few of us older folk to protest. We see the restrictions on children these days that were never there when we were young.

Then again, we were controlled to some degree. We weren't taught Scottish history but endless triumphs of the Empire.

For me it's sad that children have less freedom of thought and expression. They're only permitted that which is 'pc' nowadays and us adults have aided and abetted that thinking we were helping children have a better life.

subrosa said...

Hello Elaine. Yes, children are really being abused by our society in many ways.

The other day I watched a protest on TV and there were several small children there holding placards which, it was obvious from their age, they wouldn't understand. I get so infuriated with adults using children in this way but of course it's the 'heart-string' method.

Same when any child is involved in immigration issues. It's always the child which is used instead of the facts.

I often wonder if many of these issues involved people of my age then they'd never reach the MSM.

The use of children these days does nothing whatsoever to pull me towards a cause. I try to study the facts not the emotional blackmail.

subrosa said...

Oh Elaine, many thanks for that pension link. I missed that. It may be worth doing a brief post on it to bring it to people's attention.

Elaine said...

I think it is quite obvious the tax angle was thought up to keep the human capital at the grindstone into their twilight years.
What right have they to prevent people putting their own hard earned and taxed money into a pension pot ! because that is effectively what they are doing, this is just unethical, immoral and a few swear words too

subrosa said...

I couldn't agree more Elaine. It's when I read this type of thing that I'm grateful I'm getting old. Selfish I know, but I've already lost a big chunk of pension which Gordon Brown grabbed. It wasn't a big pension but he reduced it to pocket money when it could have been holiday money.

Sheila said...

Meant to leave this link to an interesting article on Cameron's "happiness index":

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9895/

"Critics have drawn attention to the difficulty of defining happiness, never mind measuring it. But that’s not the point of the government’s exercise. The mere fact that happiness has become an object of official policymaking alters the relationship between government and public. If pursued to its logical conclusion, a project oriented towards the management of people’s emotions and internal life will lead to the further erosion of the line that separates our public lives from our private lives. That is why the performance of counting smiley faces is no joking matter."

subrosa said...

Sheila, for some reason your comment hasn't published. I'm reproducing it here:

Meant to leave this link to an interesting article on Cameron's "happiness index":

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9895/

"Critics have drawn attention to the difficulty of defining happiness, never mind measuring it. But that’s not the point of the government’s exercise. The mere fact that happiness has become an object of official policymaking alters the relationship between government and public. If pursued to its logical conclusion, a project oriented towards the management of people’s emotions and internal life will lead to the further erosion of the line that separates our public lives from our private lives. That is why the performance of counting smiley faces is no joking matter."

Sheila said...

For English readers...a few links:

Corelogic is one of the companies (there are a view, Visionware is another)providing eCare solutions in Scotland (only available as a cache now).

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:qN5X42cwuV8J:www.corelogic.eu/%3FSection%3D48%26Track%3D/34/48/+corelogic%2Becare&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a

Here are their customers:

http://www.corelogic.co.uk/Customers

They are selling their latest version as supporting the Munro review:

http://www.corelogic.co.uk/Home

Sheila said...

This is the copied text from a now dead link - have removed some dead space links from the end to make it fit:
http://visionwareplc.com/page.cfm?pageid=359

Electronic sharing of information of across agencies involved in the provision of care to an individual

Government - UK

VisionWare MultiVue eCare Application, underpinned by the leading
industry CDI Hub, MultiVue Identification Server enables the electronic
sharing of information across agencies involved in the provision of care
to an individual such as health professionals, social policy
professionals and housing officers.

The MultiVue eCare Application enables the facilitation of joint working
and the care assessment information to be capture electronically and
shared between the partner agencies.

The MultiVue eCare Application has 2 key functions:

A Complete View of the Citizen

With the MultiVue Identification Server, Local Authorities and their
partner agencies are able to create a single record for each citizen,
including demographic information such as name, address and date of
birth and a top-line of information from feeder systems, such as health,
housing and social work, which would include the practitioners name and
contact details. This involves the integration of data between the
numerous host systems, merging records on an individual and ensuring
there was one unified view of up-to-date and accurate data surrounding
an individual.

The Delivery of the Electronic Single Assessment Process (SAP)

The Assessment Framework enables public sector organisations to deliver a
care plan as part of the end-to-end process whilst leaving the service
delivery decisions under the ownership of the care professional. SAP is
about producing one common assessment that can be shared, subject to
authorisation, by all care professionals involved with an individual
person. The concept behind it is to collect the data once and use it
many times. The objective of the MultiVue eCare Application is to enable
care professionals to collect information and then share it confidently
with allied professionals.

The Benefits of VisionWare’s MultiVue eCare Solution are as follows:

· Delivering shared services to citizens cost-effectively

· Joining-up information between GPs, housing and social care

· Implementing a Common Person Index

· Facilitating the Single Shared Assessments for older people

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