Back to square one - leukaemia case to be reconsidered by Scottish Information Commissioner

A three-year struggle to release childhood leukaemia figures in Dumfries and Galloway has been referred back to Scotland's information commissioner.

The House of Lords has ruled he must decide whether the information can be "anonymised" sufficiently for it not to constitute personal data.

The case stems from a freedom of information request by the Green Party.
The Common Services Agency (CSA), which holds the figures, had appealed against rulings ordering their disclosure.

The House of Lords ruling was welcomed by the CSA, which said its "overriding concern" was "to protect the privacy of individual patients".

Dr Adam Bryson, medical director of NHS National Services Scotland, said its motive had been to secure clarity on a "serious issue that potentially impacts on the rights to privacy of each of the 60 million people in the UK".

Lords deliver leukaemia judgment (BBC News, 9 July 2008)