The Trust has a number of policies covering areas such as security, records retention, destruction and archiving policies, data protection (including data sharing) and patient confidentiality policies.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998 the Trust is required to ensure that all of its systems that hold personal information about individuals are registered with the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1988.
The Caldicott Guardian should play a key role in ensuring that NHS and partner organisations satisfy the highest practical standards for handling patient information. Acting as the “conscience” of an organisation, the Guardian should also actively support work to facilitate and enable information sharing, advising on options for lawful and ethical processing of information as required. Local issues will inevitably arise for Caldicott Guardians to resolve.
In all but the smallest organisations the Caldicott Guardian should work as part of a broader Caldicott Function with support staff, Caldicott or Information Governance leads etc contributing to the work as required.
Information Governance is the way by which the NHS handles all organisational information - in particular the personal and sensitive information of patients and employees. It allows organisations and individuals to ensure that personal information is dealt with legally, securely, efficiently and effectively, in order to deliver the best possible care.
It provides a framework to bringing together the requirements, standards and best practice that apply to the handling of information. It has four fundamental aims:
To support the provision of high quality care by promoting the effective and appropriate use of information;
To encourage responsible staff to work closely together, preventing duplication of effort and enabling more efficient use of resources;
To develop support arrangements and provide staff with appropriate tools and support to enable them to discharge their responsibilities to consistently high standards;
To enable organisations to understand their own performance and manage improvement in a systematic and effective way.
The framework currently encompasses:
Under the Freedom of Information Act people may request information subject to exemptions. Full detail of the Freedom of Information Publication Scheme is available through the front page of this web site.
Caldicott Guardian - www.dh.gov.uk/en/AdvanceSearchResult/index.htm?searchTerms=CAldicott+Guardian+2008
Data Protection Act - www.ico.gov.uk/what_we_cover/data_protection.aspx
Freedom of Information Act - www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts2000/ukpga_20000036_en_1
Confidentiality Code of Practice (Department of Health)
Records Management NHS code of Practice (Department of Health)
Information Quality Assurance - www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/systemsandservices/data/dataquality
Information Security (Department of Health)