Government suspends migrant data-sharing deal between NHS and Home Office

10 May 2018

The Government has announced that it is suspending the memorandum of understanding that allows NHS Digital to share patients’ data with the Home Office for immigration enforcement purposes, after months of campaigning by organisations including Liberty, Migrants' Rights Network, National AIDS Trust and Doctors of the World.

Corey Stoughton, Advocacy Director at Liberty, said: “The Government now admits it has been needlessly exploiting NHS patient data on a mass scale for minor immigration enforcement matters. They have undermined the confidentiality and trust at the heart of our healthcare system in the name of pursuing their hostile environment.

“We welcome the Government’s agreement to overhaul its practices and immediately curtail some data-sharing – but its language is worryingly vague. We need a cast-iron commitment that people will no longer have to fear immigration enforcement when seeking urgent medical care.”