Domestic Abuse: Data Protection

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 28 March 2024.

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Photo of Peter Gibson Peter Gibson Conservative, Darlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that providers of NHS services are protecting the whereabouts of domestic abuse victims from perpetrators.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

There are security and legislative protections in place to protect patient data, and ensure data is used across the health and social care system in a safe, secure, and legal way. This includes data protection rules which prevent National Health Service employees from disclosing addresses of victims of domestic abuse.

Each organisation’s terms and conditions of employment include strict guidelines on how staff handle and protect patients’ information. Staff must also be regularly trained in information governance responsibilities. Professional bodies such as the General Medical Council also set out standards which their members must meet.

General practices have two options if they are worried that having access to their record might cause harm to a patient or another individual. They can either redact specific items on the record, or disable patient access entirely.

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