On Tuesday 1st November, Jo Churchill MP presented the National Data Guardian for Health and Care Bill to the House of Commons for its First Reading. Introduced as a Presentation Bill, the Bill intends to put the role of the National Data Guardian (NDG), which currently advises and challenges the health and care system to ensure citizens’ confidential information is safeguarded and used appropriately, on a statutory footing. This position would give the National Data Guardian powers to advise and assist upon as well as issue formal statutory guidance to health and adult social care sectors, in relation to the use of health and adult social care data, among other provisions.
Speaking on the Bill, Jo Churchill MP said:
“In September 2014, the Coalition Government established the National Data Guardian for Health and Care as a single, authoritative patient voice for how patient data is used. Now, plans to deliver powers to the NDG will boost excellent care and the patient experience, for instance by eliminating the need to repeat one’s medical history particularly for patients with conditions such as dementia.
Furthermore, the safe, appropriate and effective use of medical data can inform clinical commissioners both locally and nationally about the best use of resources, as well as inform research groups for the development of new medicines and treatments.
Putting the National Data Guardian, the leading patient voice on the use of patient data, on a statutory footing would act as an enabler to progress on the health and care agenda. Yet more specifically, this would be a first step to building trust and ensuring clear governance on patient data which is essential if we are to drive forward patient care, better diagnosis and treatment.”
The Second Reading of the National Data Guardian for Health and Care Presentation Bill is scheduled for Friday 2nd December.