A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NHS Digital (formerly HSCIC), the Department of Health (DoH) and the Home Office, makes clear that NHS Digital is required by law to hand over non-clinical patient details to the Home Office, including last known addresses, dates of birth, GP’s details and the date registered with doctor.
DoH figures show that the Home Office made 8,127 requests for patient details in the first eleven months of 2016, which led to 5,854 people being traced by immigration enforcement. Requests for information have increased dramatically in recent years. Here is the full Memorandum of Understanding and a Guardian article on the issue.
In response to the recently published report revealing NHS Digital’s legal obligation to share non-clinical patient details with the Home Office, a group of organisations came together to express their dismay both with the process of the review that did not include an appropriate consultation, and with the outcome itself. They called on NHS Digital to suspend this service to the Home Office until a transparent and public review of its merits has taken place. The letter and signatories can be found here.