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Make the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care a statutory body

Last updated: 11:30am 18 January 2019

We will put the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care on a statutory footing to ensure data security standards are properly enforced.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.80

Our verdict

The role of National Data Guardian (NDG) for health and care was established in 2014 with the aim of improving the safeguarding of personal medical information in the UK.

Since its creation, the post has been held by Dame Fiona Caldicott, an independent expert in the field of medical data protection. Her advice is used by regulatory bodies such as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to sanction organisations which fall short of data protection standards.

However, the post lacks the legal authority to resolve difficult issues. This policy is a promise to rectify that by putting the NDG on a statutory footing, which means its responsibilities and authoritative power will be outlined and enshrined in law.

The Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Bill 2017-19 was designed with precisely that purpose in mind. It was introduced in the House of Commons in October 2017 and gained Royal Assent on 20 December 2018. The bill is now an Act of Parliament. This policy is ‘done’.

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