Delete HIV information

NOTE: This page illustrates Ms Parker’s abysmally, well nigh non-existent, understanding of CONFIDENTIALITY, especially about matters concerning HIV related information.

She offered F to delete  his HIV relevant information from RBKC files.  Which files?  It must be appreciated that all local authorities have their own backup facilities, in addition to those in place by government.  This means that it is unknown how many copies of F’s information is stored on various computer systems.  In addition, how many copies are stored by the LGO.  How many individuals are aware of F’s HIV+ status?  The number is unknown.

However, the MOST IMPORTANT point is that unknown number of individuals  were and are aware of F’s HIV+ status.  This is the point. How on Earth, is she going to remove this KNOWLEDGE from  their minds? 

This is the reason why not only CONFIDENTIAL information, but especially  details about person’s HIV status must be treated with great caution.  ONCE DISCLOSED, IT CAN NEVER BY UNDONE.  It must be remembered, taking the Soho Clinic event into consideration, mere inference  that individual had some business with the Clinic, may have caused  unnecessary distress and anxiety to the recipients of the Newsletter.  Proof was not required.  Whereas, in F’s case, not only his identity was disclosed, but also clinical details about the progression of his condition, which were NONE of RBKC’s business.

This was the problem with Brent Council, when they were faced with the case described in Brent v N P.  They had the proper presence of reason and sought  legal advice and eventually went to Court to obtain a ruling on the matter, which ruled in favour of the foster parent, and his HIV+ status was NOT disclosed.

Therefore, Ms Parker’s reasoning is nothing but silly drivel.

This page endorses Law Commission’s findings in their ‘Data Sharing Between Public Bodies that local authorities  have poor understanding of data protection legislation.(para 3.6; 3.25, 3.80)

On 26th June 2014, F received a statement from the Department of  Health    that ‘Local authorities are not entitled  to ask for, or receive , an individual’s  confidential medical  records, including  information about  a person’s HIV status‘.

On 10th October 2014, F asked  Ms Nadia Husain,  RBKC’s Customer Care and Complaints Manager,  who  defended disclosure of F’s HIV relevant information to the LGO, why was it necessary for RBKC to collect this specific information. in the first place, taking the above statement into consideration.

As Ms Husain chose NOT to reply,  on 27th October 2014, F wrote to the Chief Executive, reiterating his 10th October message to Ms Husain and informing him that he will refer the matter the Dame Fiona Caldicott, to whom F wrote on 28th October 2014

As F did not receive a reply, or even an acknowledgement,  On 13th November 2014, he repeated his  27th October 2014 message.

Unexpectedly, on 25th November 2014, Ms Parker, RBKC’s Chief Solicitor chimed in with her suggestion of how to move forward to resolve the matter.

It is not clear, whether she had by this time realised what had happened, as she failed to reply to my questions to Ms  Husain, but still reiterating her original justification for disclosure dated  22nd February 2012, in which she quoted paragraph 29 of the Local Government Act 1972 as the authority.

However, this is the incorrect version of the Local Government Act.  The 1972 version’s paragraph 29 addresses COMPLETELY DIFFERENT matter.

The correct  version relevant to F’s matter and her claims, is the 1974 version.

She quoted paragraph 29 in its entirety, forgetting that paragraph 29-(7) provides an EXEMPTION, if needed. It stated that ‘”No person shall be compelled  for the purposes of an investigation  under this Part of this Act to give any evidence or produce any document which he could NOT be compelled  to give or produce  in civil proceedings  before the High Court.”    This is discussed at length on the disclosure of information page.

The important point to recall, is that the LGO did NOT ask for any of F’s MEDICAL information, let alone  HIV status.  This exemption would apply, should LGO have asked for this information.   It was disclosed willfully and without CONSENT and any legal requirement to do so.  In this case, the Statutory Restrictions on data handling would apply,  as defined in paragraph 46 of the Department of Health ‘Confidentiality-NHS Code of Conduct.’  

THEREFORE, the information should NOT have been disclosed, let alone kept by RBKC.

Ms Parker suggested to F that RBKC would be prepared to remove his HIV relevant details on the understanding that RBKC would NOT be  able to answer any questions from F or anyone else in the future.  F took this as meaning that NO action could be taken against RBKC.

F considered this offer to be absurd beyond belief.  How could RBKC possibly attach any caveats to a deletion of information they were NOT entitled to have in the first place and anyway, should have removed in May 2010,

On 12th January 2015, F told Ms Parker that he could not possibly accept her offer, as the information should have been removed a long ago.

At the same time he told her that should she  disagree with the Department of Health statement dated  26th June 2014,  quoted above, she should contact the Department of Health directly.    F has not heard from Ms  Parker since. He assumes that she  could not be bothered to clarify this matter, or that perhaps  the Department confirmed their statement and likewise, she could not be bothered to let F know,  In any case, F has not heard from her since. November 2014.

CONCLUSION: Had RBKC complied with F’s  amendment to his Information Sharing Agreement, there would  be NO HIV relevant information remaining on F’s files.  It is unclear why RBKC failed to respond to F’s amendment and perhaps told him why they could/would NOT remove his information.  They had ample time to do so; yet chose to ignore this fact.  Perhaps Ms Parker should address this point.

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