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NHS Digital statement on Health Select Committee's report into patient data sharing

In relation to the Health Select Committee's report into the memorandum of understanding on data sharing between NHS Digital and the Home Office, NHS Digital's Chief Executive, Sarah Wilkinson, has issued the following statement.

In relation to the Health Select Committee's report into the memorandum of understanding on data sharing between NHS Digital and the Home Office, NHS Digital's Chief Executive, Sarah Wilkinson, has issued the following statement.

Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Executive at NHS Digital said: "We will consider the Health Select Committee's report carefully and will take into account any new evidence as it becomes available, but we have been through a rigorous process to assess the release of demographic data to the Home Office. This has established that there is a legal basis for the release and has assured us that it is in the public interest to share limited demographic data in very specific circumstances."

NHS Digital poll on patient data and confidentiality - Topline figures
Ipsos MORI poll for NHS Digital on data sharing - Detailed results

Ipsos MORI polling results
 

  • Results are based on 2,000 interviews conducted via telephone among a representative sample of adults aged 18+, living within England. Of these, 1,000 interviews were conducted between 8th and 12th March 2018 and 1,000 were conducted between 22nd and 25th March, both using the same methodology.
  • Data are weighted to ensure they are representative of the English population.
  • Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to multiple responses, computer rounding or the exclusion of 'don't know/ not stated' response categories. 
  • An asterisk (*) represents a value of less than half of one per cent, but greater than zero.
  • The summary code 'important' includes all those who say 'very important' or 'fairly important' and the summary code 'not important' includes all those who say 'not very important and 'not at all important'. Likewise, the summary code 'support' includes all those saying 'strongly support' and 'tend to support' and the summary code 'oppose' includes all those saying 'strongly oppose' and 'tend to oppose'.

Q1. How important, if at all, is it...?

Base: All respondents (2,000)

...for the government to trace individuals suspected of immigration crime (for example, illegally entering the country, escaping immigration bail, or over-staying a visa)?

                                                              %

... that the NHS treats a patient's medical records as confidential?    

%

... that the NHS treats a patient's address details as confidential?

%

Very important

     59    

  87  

   82

Fairly important

     27

  11

    15

Not very important 

     10

   1

     2

Not at all important

      3

   1

     1

Don't know

      1

    *

     *

Important

      86

   98

   97

Not important

      12

     2

   3

 

Q2. To what extent do you support or oppose the NHS sharing a patient's address details with ...?

Base: All respondents (2,000) ... the police in order to trace an individual who they suspect has committed a serious crime (for example, murder, manslaughter or child abuse)? ... the Home Office in order to trace an individual who they suspect has committed an immigration crime (for example, illegally entering the country, escaping immigration bail, or over-staying a visa)?

... other government departments in order to trace an individual who has committed another type of crime (for example, tax evasion, benefits fraud or theft)?  

 

%

%

%

Strongly support

64

52

43

Tend to support

21

20

27

Neither support or oppose

6

11

12

Tend to oppose

3

7

8

Strongly oppose

5

9

8

Don't know

2

1

1

Support

85

72

71

Oppose

7

16

16

 

ENDS

Notes to editors

Attached is a copy of a recent Ipsos MORI poll of 2,000 people who were asked to give their views on sharing NHS address data for the purposes of investigate crime and immigration offences.