To: The Government

Stop using NHS patients’ personal information for immigration enforcement.

Stop using NHS patients’ personal information for immigration enforcement.

Stop using NHS patients’ personal information to carry out immigration enforcement.

Why is this important?

Vulnerable, sick and injured people are not going to NHS hospitals and GP surgeries because they fear it could lead to their arrest – including most recently survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.

But why?

The UK government and NHS Digital, the NHS body that stores patient information, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in January to give the Home Office easier access to patient information. This allows immigration officials to use NHS patients’ personal details, such as their addresses, to track down, arrest and deport undocumented migrants.

Patient confidentiality is essential for NHS staff to be able to do their job – and yet there has been no consultation with NHS staff or the public about this deal. Concerns raised by medical organisations have been ignored and the agreement was made in secret.

The deal makes some of the UK’s most vulnerable people scared of getting healthcare. The medical charity Doctors of the World regularly sees people in urgent need, including pregnant women and cancer sufferers, who are scared to see a doctor for fear that their details will be passed on.

The charity has even heard reports of injured survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire not seeking the healthcare they need because they are afraid it could lead to their arrest. Doctors of the World has been forced to set up a clinic nearby to help these people.

Sign the petition to demand that NHS Digital withdraws from the MOU and no longer provides information to the Home Office, so that our healthcare service is safe for everyone living in UK.

This petition is supported by Doctors of the World UK, the National AIDS Trust and Liberty.

Please indicate if you are a healthcare professional with the prefix Dr / Nurse / Midwife / other.


Reasons for signing

  • access to healthcare is a human right
  • As an NHS doctor this sharing of patient data with security and border control at a time when they are most vulnerable I feel represents the most abhorrent form of manipulation and breach of the founding principles of the NHS that Britain has prided itself for 69 years: that of universal healthcare. This necessarily applies to the most vulnerable or to no one. I vehemently oppose this use of patient data.
  • People should never be afraid to access the healthcare they desperately need.

Updates

2017-04-21 08:51:04 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2017-04-20 16:30:59 +0100

500 signatures reached

2017-04-20 10:07:55 +0100

100 signatures reached

2017-04-20 09:31:00 +0100

50 signatures reached

2017-04-20 09:06:26 +0100

25 signatures reached

2017-04-20 08:13:26 +0100

10 signatures reached