Government consults on compulsory data protection audits for NHS

The Government has launched a consultation on whether NHS organisations should be made subject to compulsory data protection audits (the Consultation). The Consultation will be of keen interest not only to those in the NHS but to those who work with the NHS. The Consultation is open until 17 May 2013.

The Consultation follows a request by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to extend its powers. The ICO already has the power to assess the following of good practice by NHS bodies, entering with their consent under Section 51 (7) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The proposal which is the subject of this Consultation is to move from a consensual to a non-consensual assessment of NHS bodies.

Last year was notable for a number of high-profile breaches of the DPA by various NHS bodies. The common thread linking these breaches was a lack of care in safeguarding patient and staff personal data…

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