A letter to the Editor of the Daily Telegraph:
Sir – My son’s school has just asked for a copy of each pupil’s passport. Apparently, as a Tier 4 visa sponsor, it is required to take “reasonable steps” to ensure that every child has the right to be in Britain.
This, despite assurances by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, in a letter to concerned organisations earlier this year, that he had “no plans to require schools to conduct nationality checks on their pupils”.
Employers, doctors and now teachers: is our nation of shopkeepers being turned into an army of border guards?
Brighton, East Sussex
Alex Matthews-King writes in Pulse:
A GP has taken the decision to automatically opt all of his patients out of the care.data extract scheme despite being told it is “against the law to do so”.
The GP in Oxford, who wished to remain anonymous, has sent a letter to students and staff at the university “with a further letter to be sent to his non-university patient population shortly“ to inform them they will have to opt in to the scheme if they wish to have their data used by NHS England.
He was taking this approach, which he understands is against the law, because of fears that the information will be misused and will not be fully anonymous as the Government has promised.
Under the scheme, patient identifiable data from GP records will be extracted using the General Practice Extraction System and shared with the Health and Social Care Information Centre. The information body will link the primary care data with secondary care data and publish bulletins of anonymised aggregate information.
However, it has proved controversial, with some LMCs saying they are considering boycotting the programme, while the BMA have also received enquiries from LMCs and GPs considering putting “opt out” read codes in all their patients records until they have explicit patient consent. However, this is the first reported letter being sent out to patients.
The letter, dated 15 October and seen by Pulse, said: â€˜In spite of the fact that I am told it is against the law to do so, my intention is to automatically OPT OUT all my patients and allow you to OPT IN if you so wish.”
SA Mathieson writes in The Register:
One of the first things Britain’s home secretary Theresa May did on taking office was to abolish the previous governmentâ€™s identity cards scheme. But while she made ID cards history, she is in the process of extending Britainâ€™s range of identity document checks.
Britain may be a country without ID cards, but British officialdom has plenty of reasons for requiring your papers, please â€“ usually a passport or a driving licence â€“ other than for crossing a border or driving a vehicle.
Mayâ€™s immigration bill, published in October, will among other things, require private landlords to check whether prospective tenants are allowed to live in Britain, on pain of Â£3,000 fines.
According to the Residential Landlordsâ€™ Association, which says 82 per cent of its members oppose the measure, it will mean everyone renting will have to show papers, including Britons â€“ with landlords having to learn to recognise the 404 types of European ID documents that legally entitle someone to live in the UK. The association argues that many illegal immigrants will get around such checks by subletting, or renting from those in the hidden economy.
If the bill makes it into law, this measure will be introduced in only one area by 2015, following the intervention of the Liberal Democrats. Even so, it will extend a substantial list of situations when, despite Britain not having an all-purpose identity document, you still need to show one â€“ although donâ€™t expect much consistency or logic as to why.
Dipti Fatania writes in Pulse:
Pharmacists will be allowed access to GP records in order to ensure that they ‘give people the right medicines’, the health secretary has announced.
Speaking to MPs in Parliament, Jeremy Hunt said that the Department of Health would be pressing ahead with a scheme to allow pharmacists to access patient records.
In 2011, a pilot scheme to allow pharmacists in Bradford access to Summary Care Records was scrapped in order to focus on building â€˜trust and confidence in the SCRâ€™.
But Mr Hunt has signalled the go-ahead for the scheme nationally. He told MPs last week that â€˜there is a lot that pharmacists can doâ€™ and allowing them access to GP patient records will help to improve dispensing of medicines.