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‘Terrorist activity’ concerns trump patient confidentiality, NHS staff told

Health professionals should not let fears about sharing personal data “stand in the way” of reporting patients at risk of ”being groomed into terrorist activity”, new government guidance has stressed.

New guidance has been developed in response to concerns raised by clinicians about information sharing without consent for the purposes of the anti-terror Prevent and Channel programmes.

It stresses that “fears about sharing personal data should not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults at risk of abuse or exploitation”.

However, despite the need for clarity it describes how the decision for making a referral without someone’s informed consent should be subject to a “case-by-case” basis assessment, which considers whether the informed consent of the individual can be obtained, and if the proposed data sharing is legitimate, necessary, proportionate and lawful.

It said: “This assessment should be based on your professional opinion that there is tangible public interest or best interest considerations involved.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 29 September 2022


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