Today, the House of Commons Health Select Committee is holding an evidence session to consider the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Home Office and NHS Digital on processing information requests for tracing immigration offenders.

It’s really important to understand more about this MoU, and the implications. There are significant concerns that the public does not expect data collected by the NHS to be used for tracing immigration offenders. Even if no clinical details are revealed, there could be significant impacts both for individual and public health if people do not feel safe enough to seek medical help when they are unwell.

In April 2017, the health Committee issued correspondence from the Minister for Public health, the Chair of NHS Digital, the Chief Executive of Public Health England, the Chief Executive of the General Medical Council and the National Data Guardian, setting out more about the MoU. In November 2017, NHS Digital released its National Back Office (NBO) tracing service review.

Transparency is essential and the Health Committee’s examination of the issues is welcome. You can watch the evidence session here from 2.30pm, 16 January 2018.