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NIGB's Legal basis

The NIGB was established under Section 157 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008, and associated regulations (Statutory Instrument 2008 No. 2558) in October 2008 with a range of advisory functions on information governance.

On 1 January 2009 the functions under section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 (and associated regulations - Statutory Instrument 2002 No 1438) were transferred to the NIGB from the Patient Information Advisory Group (PIAG). These functions are to advise Secretary of State on the use of powers to set aside the common law duty of confidentiality where identifiable patient information is needed and where consent is not practicable.

On 6 April 2010, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority(HFEA) gained authority under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Disclosure of Information for Research Purposes) regulations (Statutory Instrument 2010 No. 995) to permit disclosure of identifiable patient information held on the HFEA register for research purposes. These regulations permitted disclosure of this previously protected data without patient consent where seeking consent is impractical or would be inappropriate. These regulations created a function for the NIGB to give advice to the HFEA on whether it was appropriate to permit disclosure. This was because there would often be a need to use these regulations in conjunction with Section 251 powers.

Applications for support under section 251 or in relation to HFE related data are considered by the NIGB's Ethics and Confidentiality Committee. More details can be found in the ECC pages.

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