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To: Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health & Social Care and Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Executive of NHS Digital

Stop making our NHS doctors into border guards.

After thousands of us signed the petition, emailed, tweeted and called Jeremy Hunt and chipped in for hard hitting ad vans, the government announced it was scrapping the dangerous data sharing deal between the NHS and the Home Office!

Stop making our NHS doctors into border guards.

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

Why is this important?

Fear should never be a reason not to see a doctor but the UK Government has arranged a deal between NHS Digital, the body charged with safeguarding NHS patient records, that allows the Home Office to access vulnerable patients’ information.


Doctors are subject to strict confidentiality rules, and know how important it is that their patients trust them. Yet behind their back, NHS Digital is sharing their patients’ information with the Home Office. Doctors should NOT have to tell patients that their information might be used by the Home Office to track them down at their home address. Confidentiality is compromised and doctors are being forced into being border guards. Medical bodies and doctors have slammed the deal, calling on NHS Digital to STOP breaking patient confidentiality.

Patients now have a well-founded fear that going to a GP could lead to them being tracked down by the Home Office and put into immigration detention centres. Individuals being targeted by the Home Office include people who have been trafficked to the UK and victims of torture . Doctors of the World UK’s clinics regularly see pregnant women worried that they will be arrested if the go to antenatal appointments and people with serious medical conditions who are too scared to register with a GP.

Doctors, MPs and Medical bodies including the British Medical Association, the Royal Collage of GPs, and Health and Social Care Select Committee have slammed the deal, calling to NHS Digital to #StopSharing patient information immediately.

When signing the petition, please indicate if you are a healthcare professional with the prefix Dr / Nurse / Midwife / other.


2018-05-09 18:16:00 +0100

Petition is successful with 71,396 signatures

2018-04-19 17:04:46 +0100

The House of Commons Health & Social Care Committee has, for a second time, called on NHS Digital to immediately stop sharing patient details with the immigration authorities. Expressing deep concern about the Government’s approach to sharing confidential patient information, a report released by the Committee on 15 April 2018 stated: ‘we believe that patients’ addresses, collected for the purposes of health and social care, should continue to be regarded as confidential.’ Read their full report here

2018-04-17 20:28:51 +0100

50,000 signatures reached

2018-04-17 11:13:17 +0100

40,000 signatures reached

2018-04-16 18:42:31 +0100

20,000 signatures reached

2018-04-16 17:46:41 +0100

10,000 signatures reached

2018-04-16 17:38:03 +0100

10,000 signatures reached

2018-04-16 17:08:54 +0100

8,000 signatures reached

2018-04-16 16:11:29 +0100

7,000 signatures reached

2018-04-16 15:26:15 +0100

6000 signatures reached! Thank you! Sign and share to keep applying pressure and keep the Home Office OUT of our NHS.

2018-03-07 14:00:33 +0000

28 February 2018 – The Health Select Committee published a joint letter from the Department of Health and Social Care the Home Office, stating that the MoU would not be suspended, and a letter from NHS Digital to similar effect. The letters described the existing evidence – including case studies from Doctors Of The World UK’s clinic – as anecdotal, and did not warrant ceasing the data-sharing arrangement. You can read both letters here:'Shaughnessy-MoU-on-data-sharing-23-02-18.pdf

2018-03-07 13:58:43 +0000

15 February 2018 – Public Health England published a call evidence on the public health impact of the MOU healthcare-seeking behaviour and health outcomes of the migrant population. Deadline for submission: 5pm on 30 March 2018. Read the call for evidence here:

2018-03-07 13:55:08 +0000

19 January 2018 – Health Select Committee wrote to NHS Digital calling for the immediate suspension of the MoU. Central to the Committee’s concerns was the impact of the MoU on migrant health seeking behaviour and the public interest in maintaining a confidential medical service. Read the letter here:

2018-03-07 13:54:40 +0000

16 January 2018 – the Health Select Committee (HSC) heard evidence from Doctors of the World UK, Voices of Domestic Works and the National AIDs Trust on the impact of the MoU on migrant patients:

2018-01-29 16:49:19 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

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