back to article UK health privacy watchdog still in talks over who is accessing country's COVID data store

More than two years after England launched a COVID data store, keeping details of National Health Service (NHS) patients, the country's National Data Guardian (NDG) remains unsatisfied with who is accessing the data. The COVID-19 data store was launched in March 2020, and would pull together medical and operational data about …

  1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    Caldicott Guardians

    If a medical professional with whom I do not have a clinical relationship (i.e., not working at my registered Family Practitioners, not my dentist, or someone to whom I have been referred by them) access my NHS data, this should be alerted to a 'Caldecott Guardian' who will assess whether the access was justified. So, if I've been involved in a car accident and the A&E team access my data, all well and good. If a medical professional accesses my data to find out if I'm on medication for anything because they know me socially, this is not good.

    I do wonder whether the safeguarding rules for NHS Covid Data should have been clearly defined and implemented BEFORE all this data was collected. Not that I mind too much if it is used to save lives, improve public health etc., but if it is for more nefarious or mostly commercial purposes, I'd object strongly.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Caldicott Guardians

      "I do wonder "

      No wondering needed - Of course it should have been... it's not like a pandemic wasn't highlighted as the most significant threat to the country.

      Things like how to track it, data monitoring etc should have been preprepared.

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Caldicott Guardians

      whether the access was justified

      If they found it was not justified, I wonder how their wrists are going to survive from all that slapping?

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    So if it takes so long to get who is accessing it, maybe, just maybe it will be quicker to list who is not?

  3. heyrick Silver badge

    Obfuscation is because...

    ...they don't know who accessed it, how much they accessed, or what they did with the data retrieved. This is entirely according to design (the design brief being the subtle transfer of banknotes). How dare those woke privacy lefties interfere with a good scam much needed modernisation, blah blah, think of all the children this could save.......

  4. Falmari Silver badge

    Data dissemination register

    Just looked at the Data dissemination register released by NHS England. Even with the lack of info what is there is not good. Multiple times identifiable patient data has been accessed.

    Here is just 1 from 11/06/2021.

    Confidential Patient information including NHS number, age, gender and vaccination data was assessed for International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC).

    ISARIC have multiple members

    Do members have access to that data as well?

    NHS England have released our medical data to an external organisation and probably its members. Data that can be linked back to an individual with the included NHS number. Examples like this show that NHS England are not fit to manage our data and should never be allowed to share our data outside of the NHS.

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