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TOPIC: NHS data sharing with the Home Office is putting lives at risk

NHS data sharing with the Home Office is putting lives at risk 22 Jan 2018 11:32 #5844

  • Paul-UB40
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Thursday, 18 January 2018 3:47 PM

By Dr Paul Williams

During a select committee hearing on Tuesday, I listened carefully as Marissa Begonia from the Voice of Domestic Workers described a harrowing story of how one of her members died after being too worried to seek medical help for a persistent cough. She was simply too frightened to visit a hospital or GP, for fear of her details being shared with the Home Office, and the consequences she could face as a result.

Her fears were well-founded. Thanks to a clause within the Health and Social Care Act (2012), confidential information provided to the NHS by patients is being used to help trace immigration offenders. A hastily-produced Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Home Office and NHS Digital, introduced at the beginning of last year, provides a framework for something that is legal and has been 'happening for years', according to Department of Health and Social Care officials.

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