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A statement from NHS Digital on the Memorandum of Understanding with the Home Office

Sarah Wilkinson, chief executive at NHS Digital, said:

“We welcome the Home Office’s response to the concerns expressed by the Health Select Committee and its willingness to adapt its tracing requests to better align with established codes of practice within the clinical community.

“The narrowing of the tracing service to only those individuals convicted of more serious criminal offences, or who represent a risk to public security, circumvents the difficulties which have arisen as a result of conflicts between existing legislation and case law and the long-established Codes of Confidentiality of the GMC and various Colleges.

“We understand the Home Office will limit its requests immediately. Likewise, we will immediately only process requests which meet these revised criteria.

“As soon as is practically possible, we will amend the Memorandum of Understanding between ourselves, the Home Office and the Department and Health and Social Care which describes this tracing service, and publish the updated version openly.”