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What's New

9 July 2012

Launch of the Health Informatics Apprenticeship Framework

The Department of Health's Informatics Directorate (DHID) has announced the launch of the Health Informatics Apprenticeship Framework, which has been developed in partnership with NHS Wales Informatics Service, Skills for Health and the City & Guilds awarding body.

The framework was approved for funding from May 2012. This means that funding is now available from the National Apprenticeship Service for organisations that provide and support the apprenticeship, which in most cases is a learning provider.

An apprenticeship is not a qualification in itself, but a number of separately certified qualifications and courses known as a framework. Apprenticeships combine practical and theoretical skills, and are designed to help employees reach a high level of competency and performance. 

The health informatics framework is underpinned by the Level 2 Extended Certificate in Health Informatics qualification offered by City & Guilds and the units cover topics such as organising and reporting data, data management software and using collaborative technologies. It will provide a springboard into a wide range of roles in, and for, the NHS where information handling is a key responsibility.

Jackie Smith, Health Informatics Development Manager at the Department of Health Informatics Directorate, said: “We are delighted that the health informatics apprenticeship framework is now available. It offers an excellent entry route into health informatics and contributes to the development of health informatics as a profession.”

Visit Apprenticeship Frameworks Online for further details about the framework: http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR01353 

Contact City & Guilds for information about the Level 2 Extended Certificate in Health Informatics: http://www.cityandguilds.com/613.html.

21 May 2012

The Power of Information: Putting all of us in control of the health and care information we need

The information strategy for health and social care has now been published. The three main themes of the strategy are:

  • Modern, convenient information access;
  • Modern information and technology for professionals;
  • Patient and citizen rights.

The strategy is supported by endorsements from a range of voluntary groups as well as a bank of case studies and video links.

Download the strategy and supporting materials from the Department of Health website.

17 April 2012

'Striking the Balance' Guidance on information sharing

This guidance has been published jointly by the Department and the UK Council of Caldicott Guardians to assist those who need to share information about individuals involved in domestic violence, for example at a MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) – a local, multi agency victim-focused meeting where information is shared on the highest risk cases of domestic abuse between different agencies. Gateway reference 17380.

Download 'Striking the Balance’ Guidance on information sharing from the Department of Health website.

24 February 2012

NHS Information Governance: Information Risk Management - Social Interaction – Good Practice

This Information Governance (IG) guidance provides NHS organisations and their staff with general awareness of the information risks and good practices associated with the protection of sensitive information in social media and other social interaction scenarios.

The guidance replaces and extends the NHS IG Guidance previously provided for Blogging & Social Networking published in December 2009.

Download NHS Information Governance: Information Risk Management - Social Interaction – Good Practice. (PDF, 104.7kB)

11 January 2012

NHS Information Governance: Information Risk Management - Dealing with Cookies and Legal Compliance

This Information Governance (IG) guidance provides NHS organisations with general awareness of the issues affecting the use of Cookies in websites that target UK users. It builds upon the introductory news item published on 17th May 2011 - Changes to the rules on using cookies and similar technologies for storing information (PDF, 112.4kB).

Download NHS Information Governance: Information Risk Management - Dealing with Cookies and Legal Compliance (PDF, 76.6kB).

19 December 2011

NHS Information Governance: Effective Management of Records during a period of transition or organisational change

This document provides detailed guidance for organisations going through transition. Further guidance about records management in general can be found in the Records Management: NHS Code of Practice and those with responsibility for records and information/knowledge management should ensure that they are familiar with the principles covered within the Code. Download Effective Management of Records during a period of transition or organisational change (PDF, 435.7kB)

NHS Information Governance: Records Management Guidance: Digital Document Scanning

This Information Governance (IG) guidance provides NHS organisations with a general awareness of the good practices associated with digital scanning of records. The guidance is based on the British Standard BS 10008:2008 and one of its supporting Codes of Practice BIP 0008-1 concerning information stored electronically. Download Records Management Guidance: Digital Document Scanning (PDF, 31.6kB)

17 May 2011

Changes to the rules on using cookies and similar technologies for storing information

On 9 May 2011, the Information Commissioners Office published new advice on how UK organisations can comply with new EU law which will come into force on 26 May 2011 concerning the use of cookies technology. This requires organisations running websites in the UK to obtain informed consent from visitors to their websites in order to store and retrieve information on users' computers through cookie techniques.

NHS organisations should now plan to undertake a review of their websites to consider where cookies are used and for what purposes to decide on continuing needs and solutions for obtaining consent.

Download Changes to the rules on using cookies and similar technologies for storing information (PDF 112Kb).

4 April 2011

The Good Practice Guidelines for GP electronic patient records - version 4 (2011)

The new Good Practice Guidelines for GP electronic patient records v4 will act as a reference source of information for all those involved in developing, deploying and using general practice IT systems. The scope is extended in this fourth version to include new services (including the Summary Care Record, Electronic Prescription Service and GP2GP). There is also a greater focus on information sharing and the central themes of the guidelines are interoperability and data quality. Download The Good Practice Guidelines for GP electronic patient records v4 (PDF 1.69Mb)

4 January 2010

NHS Operating Framework and Informatics Planning 2010/2011

The operating framework 2010/11 confirms that informatics will be included in operational plans and Informatics Planning provides guidance on the informatics components of these plans. National expectations for the NHS for delivery of national and local objectives are set out, building on existing investments to strengthen local information and data management.

Informatics Planning (pages 12 -13) recognises that good progress has been made in improving IG across the NHS, but also that it is essential that public and patient confidence in the way that the NHS handles health information is sustained. The document therefore sets out requirements for sustaining robust information governance, as follows:

  • All NHS organisations need to continue to demonstrate compliance with the key IG standards through achievement of at least Level 2 performance in terms of the NHS IG Toolkit and plans should be in place to progress beyond this minimum where it has been achieved.
  • Action plans for achieving the minimum of Level 2 performance against all remaining requirements should already be in place but must be implemented by 31 March 2011.
  • All staff should receive annual basic IG training appropriate to their role through the online NHS IG Training Tool - see www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/igtrainingtool.
  • NHS accounting officers must continue to report on the management of information risks in statements on internal controls and to include details of data loss and confidentiality breach incidents in annual reports.
    An IG audit utilising the centrally provided audit methodology should be included within the work plans of each organisation's auditors.

Download NHS Operating Framework 2010-2011 (PDF 914Kb).

Download Informatics Planning 2010-2011 (PDF 913Kb).