Guidelines for safe and effective information sharing set out in new paper


The five guiding principles that will help to achieve safe and effective information sharing in health and social care, have been set out in a new paper.

The guiding principles, published by techUK, have been designed for both direct and indirect use.

Designed to improve data sharing across the sector while protecting confidentiality and adhering to data protection regulation, the guidelines have been designed to inform a series of national developments including Dame Fiona Caldicott’s Review into data security standards. The set of principles could also inform the wording of a new consent model, the Government’s Data Steering Group and the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s Data Services Platform.

As the vast majority of data is processed by commercial organisations on behalf of public sector organisations; whether that is recording, storing, sharing or analysing data, the technology industry is being encouraged to play a key role in ensuring the main challenges are addressed.


Five principles

The five guiding principles put forward by techUK to make this vision a reality:

  1. Clear, consistent and practical consent model(s) for citizens and health and care professionals
  2. Linking and sharing data across the care continuum for citizen benefit
  3. A clear and consistent approach to information governance and data security standards
  4. Practical and usable information governance guidance that is proportionate to risk
  5. Closer collaboration between the technology industry and government

The techUK paper makes 12 practical recommendations for how industry and Government can work together to achieve these guiding principles and deliver safe and effective information sharing that enables patient centric care across health and social care.

Natalie Bateman, Head of Health and Social Care at techUK said: “Safe and effective sharing of information can help solve some of the biggest challenges faced by our health and social care services. Data sharing for primary and secondary use will enable providers to improve care outcomes within ever increasing pressures on already stretched resources. It’s vital we reach a consensus on what and how information is shared at every level, to achieve an optimal balance between personal privacy and security, and safe, cost effective, evidence-based health and care services.”


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