Essential reading

A couple of good articles for your perusal. The first is from Liz Davies writing in the Guardian about the eclipse of child protection by the ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda:

Following Laming’s report, the government used the findings to justify a policy shift away from the proactive protection of a few children at high risk of harm to intense state surveillance of every child and family though technology and broad based strategies to address child concerns.

With the subsequent launch of the Every Child Matters agenda, the phrase “children at risk” gained new meaning. Children were now defined as at risk of becoming future criminals, rather than victims of abuse, and professional attention was diverted away from the investigation of child abusers and their criminal activities. A set of five outcomes included the ill-defined “staying safe” and the language of protection became almost obsolete.

This seems a good moment to mention the Contactpoint Early Day Motion again. It seems to have stalled at 24 signatures, so if your MP hasn’t signed up yet, it’s time to give him/her a hefty reminder.

The second essential read is from Ross Anderson talking about the NHS databases (pdf) for the British Journal of General Practice:

Of course, there is not just one ‘NHS database’. The current opt-out campaign relates in the first instance to the Shared Care Record, which is being piloted in Bolton, Birmingham and Christchurch; this is being loaded with current medications and allergies initially, and is expected to contain much more later. A further concern is the move to hosted systems by many providers, in both primary and secondary care, which is making records available for central uses outside the effective control of the providers. GP records in particular, once hosted, are expected to be accessible across the local health (and social care) community.


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