• Share. Be Supported. Recover.

    We are a friendly, safe community supporting each other's mental health. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Electronic files could threaten my privacy



Well-known member
Founding Member
Apr 4, 2008
I think most of our medical records are already stored electronically.


Well-known member
Mar 1, 2011
United Kingdom
An interesting article.

We still live in a society where being open about mental health problems can seriously compromise one's options. The bar on jury service says all one needs to know about our government's respect for the capacity and judgment of those with mental health issues. And Cheltenham borough council is currently suing its former managing director for nearly £1m, claiming she concealed her history of depression when she applied for the job.

But what is this claim based on? Any evidence would be regarded as attempts to access fully confidential medical record held by Gp. In light of that, even if she did lie, how would such a claim be proven and expect to remain legal?

In such a world, I believe it advisable that my mental health records be kept under lock and key. On the very last page of the leaflet I received, I was told that I would be asked if I wished to have my information stored on a computer, and if, "after talking it through", I said no, my records would remain on paper. I think I'll write to the trust anyway, just in case they forget to ask me.

I did not reply, as to it was not valid to ask this question. There was nothing in the text or small print that said it would be converted to electronic if I did not reply (or if someone intercepted the post, or it went astray etc). My record therefore is still in paper form because I say so, but I do not care if it is electronic.

When one enters such places as where medical records or extracts are kept electronically, one surveys two things, the first being that most of the computers are made of plastic and the walls, floor and ceiling are made of brick and cement - unlike our security places - and secondly one considers that it would be relatively easy to sit down at one of the computers and start using it. You would need passwords of course. But why would I want to? If I published any of it I would implicate myself for illegal use of the computers and the data stored on them.

(c) Clare Allan, writer and author.