Sexual health clinic data security

Back in September last year, there was a disturbing story that the sexual health clinic in Soho, 56 Dean Street, had accidentally sent 800 emails to the wrong people. Now, this would be bad enough if it were a chiropody clinic, but for some people, even the hint that they might have been naughty in the bedroom with someone else can be damaging in itself.

56 Dean St in the ©Evening Standard

But these things happen. The Government lost a CD with the entire nation’s child benefit records and the Philippines has just had the privacy of every single voter compromised.

So I went to get an appointment for my once-in-a-while HIV test and check-up. Hurray! You can book an appointment online!

online booking at 56 Dean Street

Boo! They have let their SSL certificate expire on Friday, 11 March 2016. This gives a nasty error in all modern browsers and would likely scare off most right-thinking people from progressing further.

expired SSL certificate for online booking at 56 Dean Street

I messaged the Chief Information Officer for the Chelsea & Westminster NHS Trust via LinkedIn. He’s not got back to me. I emailed the web team at Chelsea & Westminster, and tweeted 56 Dean St, but no-one’s gotten back to me via those channels either.


As it turns out, when you click through the dire security warnings, you can’t book online anyway!

no online booking at 56 Dean Street

It has to be said, the staff at 56 Dean Street are super-awesome. I’ve used them before, and taken friends too. Everyone should know that if they need reassurance from an HIV test, Post Exposure Prophylaxis, the morning after pill or anything else to do with sexual health, they are an invaluable resource. And they’re very gentle when poking a swab up your bum, for which we can all be thankful.


About Graham

Forty-something gay geek living in Kings Cross with my collection of shiny computers and my fish.
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