Lesley Hutchinson is Caldicott Guardian for the Bath and North East Somerset Local Authority (B&NES) where she is Head of Safeguarding and Quality Assurance for both adult and children’s services. B&NES Council is in a formal partnership with Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group under which there is a significant amount of joint commissioning of adult social care and NHS services for adults and children.
Lesley and her fellow Local Authority commissioners are co-located with colleagues from the CCG in Bath. So for example Lesley sits behind the CCG commissioner responsible for medicines management and next to the CCG commissioner responsible for urgent care. These opportunities for exchange of information and ideas put the B&NES health and social care commissioners among the leaders of the drive across England to achieve greater integration.
Lesley became Caldicott Guardian for local authority adult services in 2009 and took on the Caldicott responsibility for children’s services as well when her job expanded in 2014. Most aspects to the role are routine, for example quarterly meeting with colleagues responsible for complaints, data protection and subject access requests to review any breaches and all near misses. At the meeting the group also considers the need for staff training and next steps needed to work towards achieving full compliance with the Council’s annual self-assessment of strengths and weaknesses when it completes the Information Governance Toolkit.
Lesley and colleagues are also informed of breaches and near misses that occur in commissioned services. One recent case involved a concern that a provider agency was holding service user data on a memory stick and how this was being stored. The Council and CCG have built in reporting these situations to their contract reporting mechanisms.
The Caldicott Guardian is also required to give advice from time to time issues which do not produce a straightforward outcome because of systems and procedural restrictions. For example, whilst staff are aware of the rules and requirements around the secure use of emails and their storage not all agencies have access to secure systems. An example of this is where a foster carer living out of the area may needs to send urgent information electronically about a child to the social work team, the carer will not necessarily have access to the secure emails, and its Lesley’s job as Caldicott Guardian to help risk assess the various options and give advice.
Lesley is a member of the Council’s Senior Leadership Team. She has a deputy Caldicott Guardian, who is the Complaints and Data Protection Team Manager. There is a page on the staff intranet explaining the Caldicott Guardian role and giving Lesley’s email address. There is similar public facing information on the Council’s internet site.