Rebecca Todd writes in EHI (a magazine for doctors):
The government will spend Â£1m sending a patient information leaflet about the controversial care.data programme to every household in England.
As part of a joint Â£2m public awareness campaign being run by NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre, 22m homes will receive the leaflet in January and extractions will begin in spring next year.
The total cost includes around Â£800,000 in funding for a helpline to answer peopleâ€™s questions about the scheme, to help take the pressure off GP practices.
The A5 leaflet will not be addressed to anybody in the household, but will clearly indicate that it is from the NHS and explain how people can opt-out of their data being extracted.
Patients will have a minimum of four weeks from the time of the leaflet drop to be able to object before extracts begin, but can also opt-out after they have commenced.
A separate article in Nature quotes a 2012 survey of 1,396 UK adults asking “How willing or unwilling would you be to take part in medical research project which involved allowing access to your personal health information (medical records) on an anonymous basis”. 36% said they would be unwilling. 4% said “Don’t know”.