NHS patient data made publicly available online – or is it?

“The shambles that is NHS England’s Care.data patient data sharing scheme suffered another blow this week as it is revealed that patient-level data was available publicly online.

“Ben Goldacre has tweeted that Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) — the psuedonymised data collected about patients when they visit hospital, which includes patient age, gender, ethnicity, diagnoses, operations, time waited etc — were made available publicly in an online tool created by a mapping company called Earthware.”

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-03/03/care-data-leaks

However, at the bottom of the article:

Updated 20:40 03/03/2014: Earthware UK has issued a statement saying the data it used was mock HES data, not real patient data.”

Earthware UK say in that statement that:

  • The map displayed mock data held by a third party who provided this data to Earthware via a web API
  • We do not hold nor have we ever held HES data on our servers
  • No patient identifiable data was ever displayed on the map

http://www.earthware.co.uk/default.aspx

So, something or nothing? Can’t tell.

More on care:data

Author: Terry Madeley

I work with student data and enjoy reading about art and design, data, education and technology.

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