Information Governance (IG) Management, protection, and use of patient data

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There are many regulations and policies governing the use of personal data, and in the NHS, this is generally referred to as Information Governance. One of the key vehicles used to access organizations is the NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT), formerly known as Information Governance Statement of Compliance (IGSoC). While ultimately regulations enable the safe and effective sharing of information for the benefit of the individual, it is often a poorly understood area, and Information Governance often becomes a barrier.

Getting ahead with your Information Governance early on in a project is critical due to the processes within healthcare and the time it can take to get approvals over the line.

The late Dame Fiona Caldicott did an enormous amount of work to address these challenges, establishing the 8 Caldicott Principles, publishing a number of papers, perhaps most notably “Information: To share or not to share? The Information Governance Review,” known equally as “the Caldicott 2 review.”

Alongside this, the Data Protection Act of 2018 went further than the previous 1998 Act to ensure individuals’ data rights more generally, including attempts by the Information Commissioner’s Office to clarify rules around sharing, consent, etc.

Despite all this, navigating the NHS IG landscape can be challenging at best, especially if not armed with the right knowledge and information, including legal, policy, and even cultural aspects. Overcoming this is never easy, but it can be expedited when armed with the correct information and know-how to navigate the system and avoid common pitfalls.

Example projects and experience

Over 20 years experience in and around health technology gained through various positions and projects, including 7 years in the NHS. Relevant examples include :

  • IG Lead at NHS National Screening
  • IG approval for eRedbook / Microsoft HealthVault
  • IG approval for app

Do you need support?

If you have a particular need within your team please feel free to reach out and discuss your requirements. Support can be provided in a number of areas including :

  • Shaping, strategy, plans and business development
  • Guidance and advice for project/product development
  • Input to bid development
  • Project / product delivery

Flexible arrangements to meet your specific needs. Choose from single-day(s), block draw down arrangements, or regular monthly commitment.

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Useful references