Supporting Caldicott Guardians across the UK


Council meeting 12th October 2017

Chairman’s update

Dr Chris Bunch gave an update from the NDG’s Panel on 19 September 2017 including details of a presentation on machine learning by Lionel Tarassenko. Dr. Bunch will confirm with Lionel Tarassenko that the slides and audio recording can be shared with UK CGC members.

The National Data Guardian (NDG) Bill to put the NDG on a statutory footing is currently going through parliament on a private members bill. Mr Peter Bone MP started the second reading in the House of Commons on Friday 20 October 2017, however there was not sufficient time to complete the reading and this has now been provisionally rescheduled to 1 December 2017.

There were valuable discussions regarding implied, informed and explicit consent at a Reasonable Expectations event held in London on 10 October 2017. The slides from the reasonable expectations event are to be shared on the Caldicott Guardian Digital Health forum.

The chairman also informed Council members that the new UK Caldicott Guardian website that has been in development is now live and accessible. A demonstration of the site was provided and Council members have been requested to contribute content and help promote the website.

Information Governance Alliance (IGA) update

Dawn Monaghan provided an update on progress of the Data Protection Bill (DPB) and the complexity of the associated GDPR. During the second reading of the DPB on 10 October 2017, a wide-ranging discussion took place on issues including the reform of protections for the processing of general personal data, age verification and security. The committee stage is scheduled to begin on 30 October.

There are five pieces of GDPR guidance in development that are with the Department of Health for legal review, and Dawn Monaghan will keep the council informed of expected publication dates. It is not expected that the IGA will include specific guidance on the interpretation and application of GDPR to matters such as procurement: it is the expected that the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) will provide this type of guidance. 

The IGA has recently moved from NHS Digital to NHS England. The IGA has taken this opportunity to review and evaluate its role and remit. The IGA are expected that there it will develop the following roles:

Communicator: including publishing regular guidance in collaboration with partner organisations, hosting events and running regular webinars;

Catalyst: identifying important issues, responding effectively to these, and adding value

Curator: establishing a consistency to guidance and advice that it provides, and reviewing legacy guidance to support evidence-based conclusions as opposed to providing exact answers.

Details will be announced at the IGA/UKCGC conference in London on 28 November 2017.

Caldicott Guardian training

Ben Heal updated the Council on his work with training providers. Council agreed that bona fide training providers should be invited to attend the Council meetings as permanent observers. Members hoped that this would foster an interchange of ideas and help to maintain high standards of training. The Chairman has been requested to speak with training providers and extend the invitation to observe at upcoming Council meetings.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) care and prevention

Astrid Fairclough from NHS England gave a presentation updating the Council on the progress of the FGM care and prevention programme. More information on this is available on the NHS England website.

Caldicott in devolved administrations

The UK Caldicott Guardian Council is a UK-wide body, and as such it was agreed that discussions on communications with devolved administrations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) should be included as a standard agenda item, and that each devolved administration be invited to send a representative to attend future meetings.

Sandra Lomax provided an update on recent meetings held with colleagues from Northern Ireland and discussions around their concerns about the absence of section 25, and a lack of communications regarding the new version of the toolkit and GDPR.

Independent members’ updates

Christopher Fincken reported on the guidance he is developing on domestic abuse. This needs to be re-evaluated in light of a proposed domestic abuse bill which is expected to go for consultation in the New Year. Christopher will circulate the latest version of the police information sharing document to Council members.

Ben Heal: A small working group of people is producing a Caldicott guide for care homes which is designed to complement the Caldicott Guardian manual. The guidance is expected to be available for review by Council at its December meeting. It is expected that this will be included in updates to the web version of the manual.

Updates from Regional Networks

London: There are usually between 7 and 10 attendees and the network continues to develop, the next meeting is scheduled for December 2017.  

North East:  An interesting issue was raised by a Caldicott Guardian regarding data deletion from systems, and an example where a supplier was able to restore data that had been permanently deleted.

North West:  The network has been using the Caldicott Guardian register to target new members from across the region. The North West will ratify Terms of Reference in line with the work undertaken by the Tim Kendall. The next meeting of the North West network is scheduled for November 2017 and Privacy Impact Assessments are on the agenda. For future meetings the North West is looking to explore advice, guidance and issues by specific sectors (for example primary, secondary, and community).

Requests for Advice

Chris Bunch presented a review of requests for advice received since June and the responses given. It was agreed that some of the material would be suitable for case studies to be published in due course.


UKCGC Council Meetings

The UK Caldicott Guardian Council meets bi-monthly in London. Membership is drawn from across the health and social care sector. In addition, any Caldicott Guardian may attend a meeting as an observer on request to

Regional Networks 

We have established a number of regional networks to support Caldicott Guardians locally and enable them to discuss a broad range of subject matter including data security, GDPR, cybersecurity and specific case studies. Further information on how to join regional networks and the relevant contact details are available on the UKCGC website.

Caldicott Guardian Manual

The Council has produced a Manual for Caldicott Guardians. It is intended to be a starting point for newly-appointed Caldicott Guardians, a refresher for the more experienced, and a pointer to possibilities for professional development and support.

Digital Health Caldicott Guardian Forum

The forum provides an opportunity to ask questions, discuss topics, and provide feedback on any national guidance affecting Guardians. If you would like to join the forum, please send your name, organisation, role and contact details (including a phone number) to

Contact the UK Caldicott Guardian Council

Further information on the UK CGC can be found on this site. For requests for advice on Caldicott or IG matters please use this form. For other queries please contact the UKCGC Secretariat.

Chris Bunch