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National Data Guardian for Health and Care 2017 report: Impact and influence for patients and service users

The NDG for Health and Care was appointed by Secretary of State for Health in 2014 and a consultation was undertaken during the autumn of 2015 about the role and functions the NDG should have4. A foundation for this work was the Information Governance Review carried out for the Department of Health by Dame Fiona Caldicott, which reported in April 2013. This became known as the Caldicott2 Report to distinguish it from an earlier report that she delivered to the department in 1997.

The Government accepted all the 26 recommendations in the Caldicott Report and the Secretary of State asked Dame Fiona to set up a new independent panel to monitor progress and provide independent advice and challenge to the whole health and care system. The Independent Information Governance Oversight Panel (IIGOP) produced a progress report in January 2015.

This 2017 report takes up the story from then to maintain continuity and transparency.

The NDG is supported by a small team of officials and a panel of independent advisers. Although the work of the NDG is similar to that of IIGOP, the remit is broader and involves providing scrutiny, challenge and advice to Ministers, the Department of Health, the Department’s arm’s length bodies, and more broadly the health and care system - always acting from the viewpoint of the patient and wider public and as a champion of their interests.

The Panel acts under the direction of the NDG, who is empowered to work without invitation or constraint. Its terms of reference8 and membership9 are also made available on the NDG webpages.

A résumé of activity during this period can be found in the minutes of the NDG Panel, available on the NDG webpages.