scrapped after latest Caldicott review

NHS England, data
Minister of Life Sciences, George Freeman MP, said: “In light of Dame Fiona’s recommendations, NHS England has taken the decision to close the programme."

Minister of Life Sciences, George Freeman MP, announced today that the controversial programme has been closed

(London, UK) Freeman made the announcement to get rid of the programme in the wake of Dame Fiona Caldicott’s third review.

He said: “In light of Dame Fiona’s recommendations, NHS England has taken the decision to close the programme.

“However, the Government and the health and care system remain absolutely committed to realising the benefits of sharing information, as an essential part of improving outcomes for patients.

“Therefore this work will now be taken forward by the National Information Board, in close collaboration with the primary care community, in order to retain public confidence and to drive better care for patients.”

A spokesperson for NHS England said: “We welcome Dame Fiona’s review because sharing data saves lives and improves care, but doing so requires maintaining patient trust on confidentiality.”

Caldicott’s third review has also focused on recommending that the law be changed so individuals should have charges against them if they breach anonymised data.

The report into tougher sanctions has said that “criminal penalties for deliberate and negligent re-identification of individuals” should occur if this happens.

As well as this, the report also comments: “Where malicious or intentional data security breaches occur, the Department of Health should put harsher sanctions in place and ensure the actions to redress breaches proposed in the 2013 Review are implemented effectively.”

With Purdah now lifted, Caldicott was asked by Jeremy Hunt to compile her latest review, three years after her second one.

With regard to patients, Caldicott recommended: “There should be a new consent/opt-out model to allow people to opt-out of their personal confidential data being used for purposes beyond their direct care.

“This would apply unless there is a mandatory legal requirement or an overriding public interest.”

The review also recommends that the Department of Health conducts a full and comprehensive public consultation on the proposed data security standards and opt-out model.