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Policy Update February 2014 - NHS 'care.data' Project

Tom Smith, BSG Chief Executive

On the 18th February, and following a lot of media pressure, NHS England were forced to announce that they would delay the introduction of the 'care.data project' admitting they had not done enough to explain the scheme to the public. NHS England promised that it would soon be launching a "very exciting" programme designed to better communicate the purpose and benefits of the data-sharing scheme. For the long-term benefit of the NHS, we should hope this step-change is meaningful and successful.

Phil Booth, of the campaign group MedConfidential, was one of many who were pleased by the decision to pause care.data. He said, "Finally officials at NHS England have seen reason. To upload millions of patients' confidential data without providing full and proper information or seeking consent would have been the largest breach of confidence in NHS history."

Several problems came to light. The public were not aware their data was being uploaded. There were concerns that private information would be accessed. There were fears from some that the private sector would purchase the data, something that was reinforced by a Telegraph report that an agency linked to the insurance industry had previously bought data, though they failed to explain that the data was aggregate and not individual. NHS England said this would not happen now and that decision was made prior to its creation. Not many people will have been reassured and NHS England now have a lot of work to do to increase confidence in its ability to handle data.

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Meet Your Committee...

Name: Dr Phil Smith

Position: Chair

Representing: NE Thames

Grade: Specialty Registrar, ST4

I am a Gastroenterology SpR and MRC Clinical Research training Fellow at UCL, and also Secretary of the BSG trainees section and representative for North East Thames. My drive for becoming a Gastroenterologist stems from my own experience of living with Crohn's disease. Coming from a non-medical background, my aim is to always help others get the 'insider's guide' needed to succeed in this exciting specialty.

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Name: Dr John Seenan

Position: Secretary

Representing: West Scotland

Grade: Specialty Registrar 5 (ST5)


I am currently a Specialty Registrar (ST6) in gastroenterology and general medicine in the West of Scotland with an interest in luminal gastroenterology.

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Name: Dr Alenka Brooks

Position: Ex-Chair

Representing: Yorkshire

Grade: Specialty Registrar,4th year

I am a 4th year SpR based in South Yorkshire and am the current Chair of the BSG trainees committee. Involvement with training committee has been a fantastic experience, representing trainees locally and nationally in matters that are really important to trainees and therefore tomorrow's consultants. Trainees are given the opportunity to be involved at every level of the BSG, which enhances the quality of representation the committee provides.

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Name: Dr Kate Evans

Representing: Oxford

Grade: Specialist Registrar year 5

I chose to do gastroenterology because its very nature demands straightforwardness. The huge diversity of the workload also appeals. I'm based in Oxford but did OOPR in Sheffield and have specialist interest in the small bowel and nutrition.

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Name: Dr Charlotte Rutter

Representing: Severn & South West Peninsula

Grade: ST5

I currently work in Gloucester as a Severn Deanery trainee. I started out as a basic surgical trainee but a career in medicine appealed as I missed the diagnostic challenge of being a physician.

Gastroenterology is a varied specialty combining patients of all ages, acute emergencies, such as upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and enables you to utilise your practical skills in endoscopy. It is a fantastic choice of specialty and I look forward to offering advice to any potential gastroenterologists in the making!

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Name: Dr Jessica Dyson

Representing: Northern

Grade: ST5

I hope to become a gastroenterologist with an interest in hepatology. Gastroenterology offers a huge range of opportunities including practical skills (e.g. endoscopy) which I think makes it an exciting specialty.

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Name: Dr Georgina Chadwick

Representing: NW Thames

Grade: ST5

I currently work at Northwick Park Hospital as a NW London trainee. I chose gastroenterology because of the opportunity to combine practical skills with a medical specialty. Long term I hope to have a special interest in advanced endoscopy.

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Name: Dr Pete Basford

Representing: Wessex

Grade: Specialist Registrar

I am a specialist registrar currently in an endoscopy research post at Portsmouth Hospitals. Gastroenterology is a great specialty offering a balance between ward, clinic, and the practical skills of endoscopy.

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Name: Dr Shuvra Ray

Representing: SE Thames

Grade: Specialty Registrar, ST5

Interests: IBD

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Name: Dr Chander Shekhar

Representing: West Midlands

Grade: Specialty Registrar

Interests: Luminal Gastroenterology & Therapeutic Endoscopy/ ERCP

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Name: Dr Shivaram Bhat

Representing: Northern Ireland

Grade: ST5

Interests: IBD, Barrett's Oesophagus

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Name: Dr Prakash Ramachandran

Representing: East of Scotland

Grade: ST4

Interests: Hepatology, Academic Medicine, Basic Science Research

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Name: Dr Laith Alrubaiy

Representing: Wales

Grade: ST4

Interests: Endoscopy

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Name: Dr Margaret Corrigan

Representing: Mersey

Grade: ST5

Interests: Hepatology, Medical Education

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Name: Dr Joe Geraghty

Representing: North West

Grade: ST6

Interests: Endoscopy, HPB

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Name: Dr Shairoz Samji

Representing: Yorkshire & Humber

Grade: ST5

Interests: Endoscopy, Medical Education

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Name: Dr Fiona Cameron

Representing: TIPGHAN / BSPGHAN

Grade: ST6

Interests: Paediatric IBD

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