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GDPR for Kids

Still practising

Chris Preece

Thursday, 22 March 2018

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GDPR for Kids 

Gerry the giraffe_credit Chris Preece_v2.jpg(The latest guidance for the new General Data Protection Regulations states that GPs must not just develop a new “Privacy Notice” but that there must also be a separate version of this notice specifically for children, preferably in a variety of formats. So, in this spirit, here’s a script for a potential short film to be shown in waiting rooms…)

INT:  Gerry’s treehouse. There are a number of children, including BARRY and LUCY, running and playing. Enter - GERRY -  he is a large, somewhat rubbery looking Giraffe, wearing a bowtie and a stethoscope. The children immediately gather round him to hear what he has to say.

GERRY

Hi Kids!  It’s me, Gerry the GDPR Giraffe, and I’m here to tell you all about GDPR! 

(Loud cheers)

BARRY

What’s GDPR Gerry?

GERRY

What a great question! GDPR stands for “General Data Protection Regulation” and it’s an exciting new bunch of rules from Europe, all about how we handle the information we have about you! But don’t worry – just like all the other rules we blame on the EU, we fully intend to keep these after Brexit – so the fun won’t stop!

LUCY (suspiciously)

What do you mean “information we have about you”?

GERRY (shuffling slightly)

Well Lucy, here at Gerry’s Treehouse of Fun and GP Surgery, we have to keep records about all our friends and patients – to help us keep track of their medicines, and make sure we know which of you like cookies with their bedtime milk. There are already very strict rules about who we can share this information with, but now with GDPR we can have even more!

(The children cheer again.)

For instance, we will now have to keep a record of all the different types of data we hold – like data about health, data about cookies, or data about whether you love rainbows or unicorns best. We’ll then have to say which laws allow us to keep or share that data, list all the people that we might want to give it to and why, and describe all the security measures we’re going to take. To ensure big bad men don’t take it away and sell it to the Americans to rig elections - like they did with your Facebook entries.

LUCY

Well, that’s good to know Gerry! Should I tell all my friends?

GERRY

No need Lucy! Every practice will have to produce a simple, easy to understand Privacy Notice by the time the new rules start on the 25th May – so everyone can experience the joy of reading data protection regulations!

But that’s not all! Everyone will be able to access all their records either themselves, or through another person, if you give permission. Not just things on the computer, but all the silly little pieces of paper that someone shoved into a folder 30 years ago that no-one was planning on ever looking at again – but first we’ll have to go through them all, and make sure there are no naughty references to other people, or things that would make you super-duper-sad.

BARRY

Wow! That sounds fun Gerry!

GERRY

Yes! So much fun, that we won’t be able to charge you for it. No matter how long it takes.

(More cheering)

LUCY

This sounds amazing Gerry, can we join in?

GERRY

Of course you can Lucy! In fact, we have to have a designated Data Protection Officer so perhaps you’d like the job?

(The children laugh.)

No, seriously. We can’t find anyone. I’m not allowed to do it despite knowing all about it, because it would be a “conflict of interest”. (GERRY does air quotes with his hooves.) You’ll need expert knowledge all about data protection law and the GDPR itself, as well as an extensive understanding of how General Practice works – so you might need to read a few books.

LUCY

I love reading!

GERRY

Great! Because we can’t find anyone else, and we certainly can’t afford to pay an adult.  You’ll work for cookies, right? Oh, and speaking of not being able to afford things, guess how much we can be fined if we get it wrong?

BARRY

(Whispers) One hundred pounds?

GERRY

Not quite Barry. Nice try.

LUCY

One million Squishies.

GERRY

Closer. It’s 10 million Euros.

(Children all go “oooooh”)

That’s certainly an awful lot of squishies, isn’t it kids? Now, why don’t you go and play with Jim the GMC Jackal whilst I go sit in the corner and weep?

        FADE OUTwhilst Jim the GMC Jackal plays “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.”       


(Picture credit: Chris Preece)

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Chris Preece

Chris has worked as a GP Partner in North Yorkshire since 2004, and still relishes the peculiar challenge of never quite knowing what the next person through the door is going to present with. He was the chair of his local Practice Based Commissioning Group, and when this evolved into a CCG he joined the Governing Body, ultimately leaving in April 2015. He continues to work with the CCG in an advisory capacity. When not being consumed by all things medical, Chris occupies himself by writing, gaming, and indulging the whims of his children. He has previously written and performed in a number of pantomimes and occupied the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. Tragically, his patients no longer tell him he looks too young to be a doctor.
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