GCHQ gains special access to NHS data to enhance security

Health secretary Matt Hancock has used emergency powers under the NHS Act of 2006 to give GCHQ special dispensation to access data on the NHS’s cyber security and other IT systems in order to better protect the health service from cyber attack during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Documents released by the government, which can be viewed online, were signed off by Karen Dooley, a senior civil service member at the Department for Health and Social Care, on 3 April 2020. “During the emergency, the network and information systems held by or on behalf of the NHS in England or those bodies which provision public health services in England must be protected to ensure those systems continue to function to support the provision of services intended to address coronavirus and Covid-19,” the government said.
Source: Computer Weekly