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NHS is harming patient confidentiality by sharing data for immigration purposes, say MPs

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k1676 (Published 15 April 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1676
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The NHS body responsible for sharing confidential patient data with the Home Office to help track potential immigration offenders is failing in its ethical duty to protect patient confidentiality, a damning report from MPs has found.

The government recently rejected a call from the House of Commons health and social care select committee1 for NHS Digital to immediately withdraw from a memorandum of understanding with the Home Office that allows personal details to be shared, including a patient’s address and date of birth. This led to the chair and chief executive of NHS Digital being summoned to give further evidence to the committee. …

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