HOUSEHOLDS in York, and all over England, are receiving a colourful NHS leaflet entitled “Better information means better care”.

This leaflet announces a plan to improve NHS care by collecting information on individual patients from GPs, hospitals etc, to assess and compare the effectiveness of NHS services in different places.

The leaflet says this information may go to “approved researchers and organisations outside the NHS”, but details that could identify individuals will be removed before information is “shared”.

What the leaflet does not say is that this information about us may be sold to drug companies, insurance companies, private health care companies and private hospitals.

It doesn’t say, what an NHS spokesman admitted to a newspaper reporter, that there is “a small risk” companies already holding data on individuals could match it with new NHS information and re-identify those individuals.

The leaflet says you can prevent information about you being shared by asking your GP to make a note on your medical records.

We hope this choice can be more widely publicised, and patients given the opportunity to consult GPs in order to make an informed decision.

Haleh Afshar, Main Street, Heslington.

John Heawood, Eastward Avenue, Fulford.

Priscilla Roxburgh, Fairfax Street, York.