Dismay over use of insurance number

The government’s likely decision to use the national insurance
number as the unique identifier for children has been slammed as a

Andrew Cozens, president of the Association of Directors of Social
Services, criticised the idea, saying it would not have helped
Victoria Climbie because her immigration status and age would have
prevented her having an active number.

In a letter to John Coughlan, co-chair of the ADSS’s children and
families committee, the Department for Education and Skills said it
would commission a feasibility study on using the NI number for new
information-sharing databases.

The NHS number was also being considered as the unique identifier,
but the Department of Health is understood to be worried that
confidential health information could be accessed by too many

“This is a solution that would not have helped Victoria Climbi’ –
it’s a joke,” said Cozens. “The NI number is primarily focused on
adults as it is linked to working and is widely open to benefit

The DfES confirmed that the NI scheme was only one option that was
being considered.

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