Intended for healthcare professionals


Data sharing measures in the Health and Care Bill exclude children

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 20 May 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:e071227
  1. Rakhee Shah, clinical research fellow1,
  2. Gabrielle Mathews, children and young persons’ advocate2,
  3. Dougal Hargreaves, Houston reader in paediatrics and population health3
  1. 1Child Health Unit, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London, UK
  2. 2Imperial College School of Medicine, London
  3. 3Mohn Centre for Children’s Health and Wellbeing, Imperial College London
  1. Correspondence to: Rakhee.shah{at}

    @shahrakhee on Twitter

This is discriminatory, perpetuates poor outcomes, and must be remedied

The new Health and Care Bill received royal assent in April 2022.1 One key aspect of the bill is more effective data sharing between health and adult social care sectors, to enable better decision making and deliver better treatment and outcomes for patients. The bill sets out specific measures for improving data sharing agreements, including requiring health and adult social care organisations to share anonymised information; addressing cultural and legislative barriers; requiring arm’s length bodies to provide clarity on information sharing; and introducing new powers for the secretary of state to mandate data standards.1

However, all these measures apply only to adults. Children and young people are specifically excluded from using common identifiers across health and social sectors, even though their use might have averted some of the high profile child deaths in recent years through better data sharing.23 …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription