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The National Information Governance Board has closed. This website is no longer being updated. Please refer to the home page for further information.

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National Information Governance Board for Health and Social Care

From 1 April 2013, the NIGB's functions for monitoring and improving information governance practice will transfer to the Care Quality Commission www.cqc.org.uk, which is establishing a National Information Governance Committee to oversee this work. The CQC is currently recruiting members for the NIGC; see http://www.cqc.org.uk/public/jobs-cqc/become-member-our-national-information-governance-committee.

The NHS Commissioning Board (http://www.commissioningboard.nhs.uk/) is to be responsible for providing advice and guidance to NHS bodies.


The Health and Social Care Information Centre is also required to publish a statutory code of practice on handling confidential information. New website under development.


Additionally useful information can also be found in the Resources section of the Information Governance Toolkit which can be found at https://www.igt.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/Home.aspx?tk=413426262081734&cb=e5a67338-5741-45ad-a823-4a2444a2d16a&lnv=7&clnav=YES

Please be advised that in light of the NIGB closing down on the 31st March 2013 and our support function moving to the Health Research Authority on the 13th March, both the NIGB phone line and NIGB mailbox will cease to be monitored as from the 12th March. The NIGB website will be transferred to the National Archives as from Sunday 31st March - whilst it will continue to be accessible beyond this point, please note it will no longer be updated.

From 04 March 2013 information on the ‘section 251’ approval process has been transferred to the HRA website and the NIGB website will no longer be updated. All current information on the application process and approved applications is now sited on the Health Research Authority website here  http://www.hra.nhs.uk/hra-confidentiality-advisory-group/. Applicants should bookmark this link and use this to locate up to date information.

The NIGB is an independent statutory body established to promote, improve and monitor information governance in health and adult social care.

Information governance is the term used to describe the principles, processes, legal and ethical responsibilities for managing and handling information.  It sets the requirements and standards that the NHS needs to achieve to ensure it fulfils its obligations to ensure that information is handled legally, securely, efficiently and effectively.

The NIGB regards information governance as essential for the lawful and ethical use of patient information both for the benefit of the individual to whom the information relates and for the public good.

The NIGB provides advice on the appropriate use, sharing and protection of patient and service user information. The NIGB also advises on the use of powers under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 to permit the duty of confidentiality to be set aside, where other legal routes are not available.

The NIGB provides this advice to the Secretary of State for Health, but also advises:

  • patients, service users and carers;
  • health and social care organisations and practitioners;
  • researchers and others seeking to use patient and service user information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Guidance documents

Transition Guidance

Freedom of Information

Queries to the Ethics and Confidentiality Committee secretariat

NIGB's Information Governance Collaborative Network on NHS Networks