Supporting Caldicott Guardians across the UK


Council meeting 6th December 2017

Chairman’s update

The National Data Guardian’s Panel met on 22 November: topics discussed included a review of the Royal Society report Machine learning: the power and promise of computers that learn by example. The National Data Guardian has highlighted artificial intelligence as an evolving and growing area likely to be involved in a number of future considerations. 

The joint Information Governance Alliance/UKCGC Annual Conference on 28th November was a great success and feedback was very positive. 300 people attended with 500 more in the online audience. There were 13 speakers and 22 exhibitors . The Twitter hashtag #IGAconf2017 reached up to 20,000 individuals on the day. Delegates liked the mix of national and local speakers. Over 90% were satisfied or very satisfied which was a big improvement on last year and delegates said they valued the opportunity to speak directly to the central teams and to network.

The UKCGC website (this site!) has now been officially launched and an editorial board established.  An events page and a news feature that enables notifications to users of the latest news have also been added. A, an


Independent members’ updates

Christopher Fincken reported on the guidance he is developing on domestic abuse, and the feedback received requesting the introduction to be slightly amended. The amended introduction was then discussed and reviewed by council members. Christopher will circulate the amended document accordingly.

Ben Heal reported that work on the care homes project has highlighted a requirement for cost effective online or classroom training for care homes covering the roles of the Data Protection Officer, Senior Information Risk Owner and Caldicott Guardian.

Updates from regional networks

South West: Plans are developing for a Spring meeting, work is being undertaken on the mailing list to ensure all Caldicott Guardians within the region are informed and to increase attendance and engagement within the region. 

North East:  A meeting was held on 8 December 2017, small numbers were expected, so evaluating the membership and looking  at ways to promote further engagement by utilising the Caldicott Guardian register was discussed as an agenda item. 

North West:  The network has started to use Doodle Poll to increase attendance there is a meeting planned for December with significant registered interest from hospices. At the last meeting the group discussed privacy impact assessments (PIAs), including the financial costs and legal implications. Also considered was the potential to hold cross region workshops covering specific settings such as primary care, mental health or hospices for example. 

The Council is working on a geographic breakdowns of the NHS Digital Caldicott Guardian register to support increased engagement with Caldicott Guardians in the field. 

Requests for advice

The Council discussed recent requests for advice that have been received by the UKCGC mailbox or raised on the Digital Health Caldicott Guardian forum. These included a  small (two-person) private clinical service that had been advised by the Care Quality Commission to register a Caldicott Guardian, a request about the appropriate level of seniority for a Caldicott Guardian in local authorities, and a query regarding the need for consent when including patients in a registry. 

The Council aims to publish examples of advice given as a series of case studies. It also receives many queries regarding hospices and patient preferences and is considering the provision of guidance in this area.

GDPR update

The national GDPR working group met on 4 December 2017, attendance was not as high as hoped in the first of the new monthly frequency meetings. To support increased attendance the hosts will be looking to add virtual membership to the meeting providing dial in and WebEx conference facilities.

With regards to the progress of GDPR guidance it was advised that this is still with Department of Health lawyers for review and they hope to publish the guidance in the New Year.  

Data Protection Bill update

The bill is currently in report stage which included a line by line examination of the Bill took place on 13 December 2017. Amendments discussed covered clauses 13, 15 and 17-20 of the Bill. A third day of report stage is scheduled for 10 January 2018.

The Council has produced a supporting paper summarising the Data Protection Bill to members and this will be made available on the UKCGC website shortly.

National Data Guardian Bill update

This Bill has been sent to Public Bill Committee. The first sitting of the committee will be on a date to be announced. The Bill was debated at second reading on Friday 1 December 2017. The House of Commons voted for the Bill to be sent to a Public Bill Committee that will scrutinise the Bill line by line. 

The membership of the committee can be found on the Commons Public Bill Committee pages when it has been announced. It can also be found in the Votes and Proceedings. This Bill is a Private Member’s Bill, sponsored by Peter Bone. 

National data opt-out

Susan Kirby from NHS Digital and Rachel Merrett from NHS England presented an update on the work of the National Data Opt-out programme. This led to a discussion regarding the need for and request for evidence of user engagement. The Council noted that a lot of the materials presented were technically led and it is important that there is clear advice available for users on how to apply the opt-out within health care organisations. 

There are still some policy areas in development but the programme has added the Council to the mailing list for news updates so we can remain fully informed moving forward.

Integrated care and National Records Locator project

Dr Emyr Wynn Jones and Stephen Elgar from the Integrated Care Domain at NHS Digital provided a briefing on Information Governance developments including:
•    Framework for data sharing for direct care - Engagement with stakeholders is key and it is of critical Importance for supporting Strategic Transformation Partnerships (STP) and Accountable Care Systems (ACS).
•    Progress with the Summary Care Record - Now live in over 1600 healthcare settings and being viewed over 125,000 times a week.
•    NHS Digital Interoperability Platform - National Interoperability Capabilities aim to support better direct care across health and care boundaries by making information and services available via national supporting services.

The Council was supportive of the vision presented by NHS Digital to standardise integration, simplify the operating model and support care information being shared appropriately, proportionally, when necessary whilst maintaining confidentiality and security.

Chris Bunch