Led by Dame Fiona Caldicott, the panel originally announced by Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt when the government published its response to the Caldicott Review has begun its work of advice, scrutiny and challenge to the whole health and social care system.
Areas of focus for the Independent Information Governance Oversight Panel (IIGOP) include:
- how technology can be used to support patient consent
- how people’s right to object is safely communicated and upheld
- investigation of the need for a single source of reliable information about information governance for patients, service users, isolated GPs, other clinicians and social workers
- the proposed EU regulation on data protection and its consequences for health and research
The panel will keep a watching brief on how issues about providing commissioners with access to patient confidential data are resolved. These are currently covered by temporary legal arrangements. All the independent advice and challenge which the panel provides will be published so that maximum transparency is achieved.
Dame Fiona Caldicott, chair of the new independent panel, is committed to making the work of her panel as public as possible, and keeping attention focused on information governance and the better use of data and information.
Dame Fiona said:
“Properly serving patients and service users so they are reassured that their confidential information is being handled safely involves publishing any challenge that our scrutiny reveals.
“Generally the public need to know more so there are no surprises about how information about them is being shared.
“The professions involved also need to develop more confidence in their judgment about when information sharing benefits the person for whom they are caring.”
The panel will report back on progress in a year’s time.