NHSX Information Governance Portal

On 1st October 2020, NHSX launched an Information Governance (IG) portal to bring together national guidance on how to manage and share information appropriately.

Through this portal, NHSX aims to empower those working in health and care organisations to use and share information appropriately to support care. The Guidance has been approved by the Health and Care IG Panel and there is support for patients/service users, health and care organisations and IG professionals.

The Health and Care Information Governance Panel is made up of a number of distinguished experts including Dame Fiona Caldicott, the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care in England and Ian Hulme, Director of Regulatory Assurance, Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The Panel informs the priorities for new guidance and developing strategy/policy to inform the content. It also signs off and endorses the guidance to be published on the NHSX portal.  Working with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office), NDG (National Data Guardian), NHSD (NHS Digital) and other partners, NHSX want to ensure that IG is not used as a barrier to sharing data safely and appropriately.

Information on the portal focuses on three areas;

  • Joining up and Supporting Care
  • Managing information
  • Research

There is a wealth of information on the portal and the latest panel guidance includes;

For each piece of panel guidance, the information is broken down into three areas, where appropriate, for ease of access;

  • I’m a patient/service user – what do I need to know?
  • I work in a health and care organisation – what do I need to know?
  • I’m an IG Professional – what do I need to know?

NHSX aims for this to be a one-stop shop for IG support within the NHS. Easy to navigate it will no doubt will become an important reference source. There are also templates to be adapted for use within healthcare settings such as a Template for Using Email and Text Messages to Communicate with Patients/Service Users. With a centralised portal this will hopefully foster a more standardised approach across the country to IG issues. Patients are less likely to be subject to a postcode lottery when it comes to IG and will be better informed about what to expect during their care.

Hempsons has extensive experience advising on data sharing and information governance matters across the health sector.