Gareth Myatt verdict

June 30, 2007

The inquest into the death of Gareth Myatt has returned a verdict of accidental death.

The answers (pdf) to the questions that the jury was asked to consider are worth reading: they make it quite clear that the Youth Justice Board and Rebound, the company running the prison, bear heavy responsibility.

We can only wonder what would happen to any parent who ‘restrained’ a child (no matter how delinquent) to a point where he died and just how the government can even consider extending the use of restraint on children in prison. This isn’t about youth justice. It’s about child protection and the fundamental right to life.

The Childminder has more to say.

More London NHS

June 30, 2007

Following on from yesterday’s blog, Ideal Government has received a reply from the London NHS Programme Director.

Apparently the purpose of the consultation:

is about agreeing what is the minimum information needed to help those staff providing care to vulnerable people within London, while protecting patients’ care and privacy. This initiative is to improve the methods used to access that information which is already shared between Health and Social Services.

London NHS merging Health and Social Care Records

June 29, 2007

Extraordinary news this morning: London NHS has been consulting on the requirements to merge everyone’s health and local authority records into a single system. The closing date for the consultation is today, and it has to be the best-kept secret we’ve ever seen.

Amongst other things, the system is to be compatible with NHS Care Records and ContactPoint. it must allow personal information to be shared and:

“should display details of a person’s family members or carers who may also be receiving services”

It should be capable of:

receiving information from external sources (e.g. Police, Education)


sending information to external sources (e.g. Police, Education)

It should display the latest Patient Record Summary from the GP system and

The referral detail should be able to contain the following, including:
a) Local person demographics (see 5.3)
b) Local service and national IDs
c) Case History
d) Reason for referral
e) Service referred to
f) presenting problem
g) diagnosis
h) free text field

There’s plenty more. The document isn’t available online, but Ideal Government has posted up a complete copy. Read it and weep for your vanishing privacy.

ContactPoint again

June 28, 2007

On Tuesday, Beverley Hughes wrote to the Guardian insisting that ContactPoint is secure, and citing Victoria Climbie (yet again) as the rationale for the database.

There’s a blistering reply in today’s letters page.

The government that understands confidentiality

June 27, 2007

Those of us on FIPR council have been gobsmacked to find that private emails exchanged between us have been read out in both Houses of Parliament, all in an attempt to smear Ross Anderson, FIPR’s Chair and a highly-informed critic of the NHS database plans.

It’s an extraordinary demonstration of the government’s inability to justify this £multi-billion scheme that it has to resort to such desperate, underhand tactics to try and silence any opposition. It also provides a powerful insight into their utter disregard for confidentiality.

There’s more on UK Liberty, Spyblog and Blogzilla.

Funnily enough…

June 27, 2007

Since I had to go to a conference in Stoke on Trent on Monday and one of my sons was also running a workshop there, we thought we’d return to London at a leisurely pace, taking in a bit of the Peak District and Lincoln Cathedral on our way.

An eventful 24 hours followed. Both hotels where we were going to stay (in Sheffield and Retford) are currently under water, and I now know that my driving skills extend to driving what seemed like miles along a river. Yesterday, the Southbound M1 looked wonderful (once we finally reached it).

I got home to find that the government is bringing out the regulations to bring ‘ContactPoint’ into being – presumably no coincidence that the Blair/Brown handover happened today.

The Committee on the Merits of Statutory Instruments has issued an urgent call for evidence on the ContactPoint database. Ian has more on this.

ContactPoint security

June 22, 2007

A letter we co-authored about ContactPoint is in the Guardian this morning together with a report here:

Misuse of an electronic database holding sensitive information on 11 million children in England could lead to millions of breaches of security each year, it is claimed today. Privacy campaigners and independent schools have warned of the “enormous” potential for abuse of the huge IT system to be launched next year.