A movement for cancer patients. Harnessing the patient voice to build confidence in the use of patient data for research and analysis.

Current data matters: National consent model

National Data Guardian's Review published (6th July 2016)

The National Data Guardian for Health and Care has today published her Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs.

Dame Fiona Caldicott, the National Data Guardian for Health and Care (NDG), today publishes recommendations to strengthen the security of health and care information secure and to help the public make informed choices about how their data is used.
The proposals are contained in the National Data Guardian for Health and Care: Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-out. The recommendations are made to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, following his commissioning of reviews from the NDG and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which has today also published its report on data security in the NHS.


The National Data Guardian has developed ten new data security standards to apply to all organisations which hold health or care information. Dame Fiona is calling on leaders of health and social care organisations to demonstrate clear accountability and responsibility for data security, just as they do for clinical and financial management and accountability.
Dame Fiona is also calling for a much more extensive dialogue with the public about how their information is used and the benefits, from researchers making breakthroughs in life-saving medicines to regulators spotting quickly when things go wrong.
For those who do not want their confidential information to be used for purposes other than their direct care, Dame Fiona has developed a new opt-out. She has also reaffirmed that whether people opt out or not, they should be reassured that their health and care information will only ever be used if the law allows and never for marketing or insurance purposes, unless they separately consent to this.

Next steps

Dame Fiona has called for a full and comprehensive public consultation on her recommendations and further testing of the proposed consent/opt-out model.

Dame Fiona is clear that that it will be important to hear the views of patients, health and care professionals, researchers, commissioners and others in this consultation and beyond. We hope you will be able to play your part.

Read the Review

Read the Press Release

Video: Dame Fiona explains

Read the CQC Report

(Remaining parts of this page have been extracted directly from several sources)

New Models of Consent

Speaking at the NHS Innovation Expo in Manchester, the Health Secretary announced a review of standards of data security for patients’ confidential data across the NHS to be carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). A clarification shortly afterwards highlighted Dame Fiona Caldicott's contribution to the review, which is shown below:

[Source: GOV.UK]

18 September 2015 - clarification of Dame Fiona Caldicott’s contribution to the review

The National Data Guardian for health and care, Dame Fiona Caldicott, will contribute to this review by developing clear guidelines for the protection of personal data against which every NHS and care organisation will be held to account. She will provide advice on the wording for a new model of consents and opt-outs, to enable patients to make an informed decision about how their data will be shared.

[Source: Health Secretary outlines vision for use of technology across NHS, September 2015]

Review of Informed Choice for Cancer Registration

In April 2016, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support announced a joint Review of Informed Choice for Cancer Registration, to include engagement events for people affected by cancer.

The findings of the review will help inform a decision by the government about how cancer registration will be managed in the future.

[Source: Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support]

What is happening in the review?

Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support are reviewing how cancer patients in England could be better informed about the use of their data in cancer registration, and how they can choose whether their data are included.

  • We expect this review to help inform an important decision by the government about how cancer patients can choose whether their data are included in the cancer registry.
  • The review will run until July 2016, when we will report to government. We expect to publish our findings by September 2016.


The full details are available here from both charities

[Source: Macmillan Cancer Support, Review of Informed Choice for Cancer Registration]

[Source: Cancer Research UK, Review of Informed Choice for Cancer Registration]