The Caldicott Review recommended ways to strengthen security of health and care information, and a new opt-out model to ensure people can make informed choices about how their data is used. Commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health, its recommendations were published in July 2016. One year on, the Government has finally published its response, accepting Caldicott’s recommendations. 

In light of the Government’s response, Nicola Perrin, Head of Understanding Patient Data, has issued the following statement:

We have to make better use of patient data to improve health and care for us all. But everyone must have confidence that data is appropriately collected, stored and accessed. The Government's response to the Caldicott review provides a package of measures that should help provide reassurance that privacy will be protected: stronger sanctions for misuse of data, a statutory role for the National Data Guardian and a commitment to a new national opt-out.

Today's announcement is just the starting gun, now the hard work on delivering an opt-out can begin. We look forward to learning more about the details of implementation but it is helpful to see a clear timetable for change. This must include time for full conversation with the public, patients and healthcare professionals about responsible uses of data. Everyone should be able to find out about how patient data is used and why, and we welcome the Government's commitment to transparency.”

We have also published an open letter from a number of charities.