This morning I was made aware, as I tend to be whenever I go on the Twitters these days, of an event that caught me eye: Flood Hack, which is happening this weekend. The event’s tweets that caught my eye were from the folk I’d associated with the Government Digital Service (GDS). (I am not sure if the event if ‘officially endorsed’, so I won’t presume it is.)

With David Cameron’s “money is no object” comment around the flood support (which Flood Hack is supporting, in its own way), this got me thinking.

The recent decision to ask NHS patients to opt out of having their information/data passed on to third parties has drawn diatribe for many things, including the room it allows for inconsistencies in canavasing patients’ option on the matter. A patient’s doctors’ office is the one to communicate this matter (not the NHS itself), that if you don’t want your data shared tell them (“object” as the official language puts it) and they’ll sort it. As a design of service it’s a bit… flimsy, even pass-the-buck, and is open to a lack of consistency and unpredictability.

And yet it’s something that, even in draft form, someone would/should have picked up on.

“So, we’re going to float the responsibility down and ask all the GPs in this country to communicate to their patients something we, as a governing body, are dictating?”

With us - this Britain! - having what is now an internationally award winning and highly respected GDS, that is seen as responsive and agile, would it have not hurt someone - in the NHS, in the government - to have bent GDS’s ear a little, even if it was to hack together something that could funnel patients’ responses?

While my mental dots might be a little spread out, it’s still a thought that occupies my mind. There must have been a simpler way, where someone could have joined the dots.


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