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Memorandum of Understanding revision plan

On Wednesday 9 May 2018 the Government announced in the House of Commons that there would be a change in the way the Home Office requests demographic information from NHS Digital as part of the tracing service.

They announced that they would no longer seek information on individuals suspected of immigration offences – a process for which a memorandum of understanding has been in place between our organisations since January 2017 – but instead only for those individuals convicted of serious criminal offences, or who represent a risk to public security, who may be deported as a result.

We informed the Home Office that we will place all requests from them in a queue until a revised memorandum of understanding can be agreed.

This process is now underway. This page lays out the revision plan process that will be followed.

Memorandum of understanding revision plan
Phase Key activities

Status (as at 22nd October 2018)

1: Expression of ministerial intent

  • Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Home Office (HO) to confirm intentions for basis of future Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that reflects joint ministerial agreements.
Draft new tracing service requirements received from Home Office. We are liaising with Home Office on the specific details of these requirements. We expect further refinement before proceeding.

2: Redraft MoU

  • Three-way redrafting of draft MoU 2.0 between DHSC/HO and NHS Digital reflecting ministerial intentions.

  • Assess process implications for National Back Office (NBO) team in NHS Digital.
  • Draft revised Public Interest Test (PIT), if applicable, in light of above.
  • Agree revised draft MoU 2.0.

Awaiting outcome of confirmation.

3: HSC engagement

  • Share MoU 2.0 and Public Interest Test with Health Select Committee (HSC).
  • Feedback from HSC to confirm that the draft MoU 2.0 is consistent with their understanding of joint ministerial agreements.
  • Further joint ministerial discussions (if required) to ensure that content of the MoU reflects joint agreement.
  • Final three-way redrafting of draft MoU 3.0 between DHSC/HO and NHS Digital reflecting ministerial intentions.
  • Agree updated MoU 3.0.

Awaiting outcome of confirmation.

4: Partner communication

  • Communicate MoU 3.0 and Public Interest Test to all interested parties and invite them to share with their stakeholders ahead of operational enactment.
  • The following parties (as a minimum) will be included in this process which can be extended to other interested organisations on request: National Data Guardian, General Medical Council, Royal College of General Practitioners, British Medical Association, Public Health England, Liberty, Migrants’ Rights Network, Doctors of the World, National AIDS Trust.

Awaiting outcome of confirmation.

5: NHS Digital operational readiness

  • Review MOU 3.0 to identify process and operational changes.

  • Conduct Data Protection Impact Assessment of the revised MoU.
  • Revise process flows, logging, response drafts.
  • Confirm escalation arrangements.
  • Prepare communications collateral including announcement and other artefacts e.g. transparency notice, information on Personal Demographic Service (PDS) and NBO, etc.
  • Confirm readiness to re-inaugurate service.

Awaiting outcome of confirmation.

Last edited: 26 October 2018 9:31 am