CALDICOTT GUARDIAN ROLEA Caldicott Guardian is a senior officer, responsible for protecting the confidentiality of patient / client information and enabling appropriate information sharing.
Caldicott Guardians were established in all NHS organisations in 1999 and later extended to social care in 2002.
The Caldicott Guardian’s role is to ensure that procedures are in place to govern access to and the use of patient (client) identifiable information and where appropriate, the transfer of that information to other organisations. The Caldicott Guardian ensures that any breaches of confidentiality are investigated and measures put in to prevent securities of breach. The Caldicott Guardian also provides advice to various groups (e.g. Local Research Ethics Committee, SMT’s etc), as well as to individual members of staff on issues concerning patient/client confidentiality. Another key role for the Caldicott Guardian is to provide training for staff on confidentiality.
The key principles underlying use of patient/client identifiable information is summarised by the six Caldicott principles namely:
- Principle 1: Justify the purpose of using confidential information
- Principle 2: Only use when absolutely necessary
- Principle 3: Use the minimum that is required
- Principle 4: Access should be on a strict ‘need to know’ basis
- Principle 5: Everyone must understand his/her responsibilities
- Principle 6: Understand and comply with the law
DPA and Caldicott:
The Data Protection Act 2002 provides the legal basis regarding protection of confidentiality; however the Data Protection Act 2002 covers all sectors such as business sector, commercial sector etc where as Caldicott Guardian’s role and Caldicott principles are specific to health and social care. There are major areas of overlap between Caldicott and Data Protection; however there are some areas where they are different.
In the Isle of Man, the Caldicott Guardian works closely with the Data Protection Supervisor to ensure that users of health and social services get consistent advice.
3. A report on the review of patient-identifiable information: Department of Health, 1997 (The Caldicott Report)