UKHSA update: Change in reporting personally identifiable information on laboratory request forms for Monkeypox.
11th October 2022
Please see the below update from UKHSA and agreed with BASHH regarding the use of patient identifiable information (PII) on samples being sent for Monkeypox testing
Change in requirements for reporting personally identifiable information on laboratory request forms for Monkeypox
This message is to communicate a change in the reporting requirements for personally identifiable information (PII) for Monkeypox testing at sexual health services – there is no longer any need to report PII on laboratory request forms for Monkeypox testing but, as a notifiable disease, sexual health services are asked to prioritise timely reporting of PII for all cases to their local Health Protection team.
With the emergence of Monkeypox among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in the UK in May 2022, BASHH, the Terrence Higgins Trust, Naz, and the UKHSA jointly agreed that there was a need to collect PII on Monkeypox laboratory request forms to facilitate rapid patient care and contact tracing.
With the designation of Monkeypox as a notifiable disease in June, sexual health services are asked to report PII for all suspected cases to their local Health Protection team, and to prioritise reporting of PII for confirmed cases. The same requirement applies to other notifiable diseases detected at sexual health services (Shigella spp, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C).
It is important to encourage the reporting of PII from service users with confirmed Monkeypox and address any concerns; the additional PII collected for these cases is necessary to facilitate rapid contact tracing with the aim of containing and eliminating transmission of Monkeypox virus in the UK. For reference, this publication provides some background on the reporting of notifiable diseases by sexual health services: Managing and reporting notifiable disease in the sexual health clinic | Sexually Transmitted Infections (bmj.com).
When requesting Monkeypox testing, laboratory request forms need only be submitted with GUM identification number (‘GUM ID’) without any further PII.
Professor Matt Phillips