Too much information? Key considerations for vulnerability data-sharing
16 November 2023
This policy note explores the potential benefits that a universal priority service register (PSR) could bring for people with mental health problems – and the risks that must be addressed to ensure that it meets people’s needs.
It highlights that a universal PSR could be transformative in enabling people to disclose vulnerabilities such as mental health problems or support needs on a ‘tell us once’ basis. This data could then be shared across multiple essential services firms to improve support.
That could make it easier for people to disclose vulnerabilities, and enable essential services providers to better identify and proactively support customers who might be struggling.
However, the research also presents concerns from people with mental health problems about around how their data would be used and stored, whether they could control this, and the implications for privacy.
To ensure that these concerns are addressed – and that a universal PSR meets the needs of consumers – it is critical that it is developed in partnership with people with lived experience of mental health problems and other challenges.
We’re calling on regulators, firms and government to meaningfully consult with people in vulnerable circumstances throughout the design and development of a universal PSR.