In which we establish an evidential link between data protection legislation, headaches and depression in general practice…
GP: What can I do for you today, Mrs Smith?
Patient: How did you get my name?
GP: The receptionist told me before she buzzed you in
Patient: I don’t remember giving her permission to share my details with a third party
GP: It’s her job to tell me who you are
Patient: She didn’t obtain my explicit consent
GP: It was probably an oversight, madam
Patient: Madam? Why is my gender relevant?
GP: It may or may not be. It depends why you’re here
Patient: Well, I’ve not been feeling myself recently
GP: I see. I understand you’ve been having a lot of headaches
Patient: And you obtained that information how, exactly?
GP: It’s all on your health record
Patient: Did I consent to this use of my data?
GP: We need the information to treat you
GP: She may have presumed that if you made an appointment, came to the surgery and sat in the waiting room for half an hour that you wanted to see a doctor
Patient: You can’t rely on presumption. I should have been given a clear opt-in
GP: Do you want to see me or not?
Patient: That’s my business. I’m not obliged to disclose a preference either way
GP: This is ridiculous. We’re getting nowhere here
Patient: What are you writing about me? I demand to see it
GP: I’m writing a prescription. Take it to the pharmacy and they’ll give you something that will help
Patient: That’s outrageous. The pharmacist may be able to identify me
GP: We’re going round in circles
Patient: What are you going to do about my headaches?
GP: They’re perfectly normal. You’re suffering from a mild case of GDPR. It may seem painful now but you should make a full recovery by early June
Patient: So I don’t need to do anything?
GP: No, just get plenty of rest and try to avoid processing any sensitive data
Patient: Thanks for putting my mind at rest, doctor
GP: Why are you using my professional title when it isn’t relevant to your stated use of my data?
Patient: I’m very sorry
GP: Don’t mention it – you have a right to be forgotten. Would you mind opting yourself out?
Data controller: Julian Patterson
Reproduced at TrainingPrimaryCare.com by kind permission of Julian Patterson.