Confidentiality Sexual Health and Mental Health Policy Questions

helen Wilkinson-Makey made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health and Social Care

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helen Wilkinson-Makey

Dear Department of Health,

GPES, NHSCB,CCG and SUS, NHS IC, Commissioning Support Unit DH Policy Questions.

1. Please can you advise what DH policy has been put in place or what advice has has been given to the NHSCB, CCG, NHS IC, GPs which regards complying to National Health Service (Venereal Diseases) Regulations 1974 (S.I.1974/29) to ensure that information relating to Veneral Diseases is not used for secondary purposes or released without to third parties without consent. I note patients have the option of giving a false identity when attending an STD Clinic. However if they attend their GP they lose this protection as patients know have to provide proof of ID to register with a GP.

2. I note that for patients detained under the Mental Health Act the Court has stringent protections to protect their confidentiality what DH policy or advice has been given to NHSCB, CCG's GP's, NHS IC, Commissioning Support Units to ensure that they are not held in Contempt of Court? I note the NHS IC is selling the identifiable sensitive records of patients detained under the Mental Health Act.

3. Whilst their the legal issue of NHSCA versus DPA and HRA and common law of confidentiality. The NHS IC tweeted me on twitter to say medical records wherer only sold subject to a legal basis ie Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006. Whilst it may be argued that is legal for records to be relaeased to NHS IC Safe Haven patients still have the legal right to opt out under Section 251 of NHS Act 2006 with the indidivual companies/organisation to which pseudoanonymous records or identifiable are sent or sold too. Has the DH issued a Policy document or given advice to the NHS IC requesting that they release a list of all companies/organisations to which records are supplied so that patients can opt out as is their legal right under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006?

4. With regards question 3 above has the DH issued policy or advice to the NHS IC re audit trials will an indiviudal patient bne able to make a Subject Access Request for an audit trial to discover where or their pseudoanonymous or identifiable records have be sent to?

5. What DH Policy or advice has been issued by the DH to NHS IC, CCG, Commissioning Supoort Units, and organisations purchasing records from NHS IC with regards to correcting errors and deleting inaccurate records? You may recall my case which Phil Walker was heavily involved in. It was incredibly difficult for the DH to retrieve my data and delete it once it was released around the NHS. As Phil Walker will recall it was then released onto the SUS database for a second time. What lessons have been learnt and what policy/advice has been given to the NHS IC, CCG's, Commissioning Support Units especially as data will now to be going to organisations outise of the NHS? What policy/advice has been issued to correct mistake such as mine when I was labelled as an alcholic?

6. The NHSCA allows for patients to submit a Section 10 of the DPA to stop the processing of their records due to distress. As the DH is aware this was agreed by the DH to be applicable to myself. What mechanisms have been put in place, policy issued or advice has been given to GP's NHSCB, NHS IC, CCG and Commissioning Support Units to ensure they are complaint with Section 10 of the DPA and the NHSCA?

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Yours faithfully,

Helen Wilkinson-Makey