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Look: Why NHS staff will be 'access all areas.

Byline: Denise Robertson

A PHRASE heard on Radio Four alarmed me this week: 'The minister's words do not reflect the true position'. It was uttered by a senior civil servant and referred to a ministerial promise that patients would be able to opt out of the scheme to put our medical records on a central database accessible to everyone working in the NHS.

Imagine . . . those personal details you whispered to your doctor accessed by the hundreds of thousands of people.

The civil servant went on to say: 'Patients do not have the right to veto the material or the medium on which it is recorded.'

All this had come to light through a leaked memo.

We must be vigilant to make sure we are given the right to privacy.

Imagine the insurance implications of an Aids or hepatitis test? Any mediocre private eye working on behalf of insurers or divorce lawyers could hack into the nationwide system and make something of our relationship with our doctor, at present sacred to the individual practice, soon to be shared with the wider world

THERE'S one big drawback t o postal voting. I can remember the days when many women voted the way their husbands told them to. In rare cases a bossy woman decided how her household would ballot and husbands agreed for peace.

In the privacy of the voting booth the hen-pecked could vote as they pleased. If postal votes go into a home now what's to stop a dominant individual making sure that every ballot is filled in as they choose?

A judge says it's a procedure ripe for corruption. I fear it's also a procedure ripe for domination

AT last Damien Hirst . . . he of the pickled sheep and the pinioned butterflies . . . has seen the light! 'You do turn around after a few years and look at your stuff and think it's embarrassing'.

All we need now is Tracey Emin in sackcloth and ashes and I'll be well chuffed

ACCORDING to research by the insurance firm Privilege more than half of all adults change their voice on the phone . . . in other words, they talk posh.

Well, some people may think it's enough to merely change their voices. Personally I not only round my vowels, I crook my little finger while I'm doing it

HAVE we learned nothing from recent history? Like Prince Charles or not, you must feel a sliver of guilt at the way the media and a voracious public pushed him into marrying Diana, with disastrous consequences for all concerned. Now we seem to be at it again, this time with William as the victim.

So he has a girlfriend called Kate Middleton. So what? If he's to make a happy marriage eventually he needs to have many more before he makes his choice.God forbid we start a bandwagon that ends in another illconsidered union.

Leave the lad alone
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 6, 2005
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