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Nicholas Oughtibridge gives an update from the Health and Social Care Information Centre

Nicholas Oughtibridge Acting Director of Data Standards Health and Social Care Information Centre gives an update from the Health and Social Care Information Centre on the new Code of Practice on Confidential Information and developing the role of Caldicott Guardians at today’s conference.

Nicholas Oughtibridge’s full presentation is available for download at the end of this page.

In his presentation Nicholas Oughtibridge discussed:

The HSCIC released a Guide to Confidentiality in Health and Social Care in September 2013. It provided patients and health and care staff with clear, accessible guidance on the handling of confidential information. The guide is available at

The code of practice describes good practice to those responsible for setting and meeting policy relating to the handling of confidential health and care information (e.g. board members). It applies to any organisation that collects, analyses, publishes or disseminates confidential information. The code of practice is available from

“The code of Practice Outlines steps in the information-handling life cycle that organisations must, should and may take to ensure that confidential information is handled appropriately and will help organisations ensure that the right structures and procedures are in place to help staff follow the confidentiality rules.”

“Practices described as ‘must’ are a legal obligation, often with penalties”

“Practices described as ‘should’ legally require organisations to have regard to the practice”

“Practices described as ‘may’ are permissions, often in law.”

The Code is structured around seven key activities

  • Establish the purpose of arrangements to handle confidential information
  • Establish and use standards for handling data
  • Recognise people’s objections to the handling of information about them
  • Implement systems for handling confidential information
  • Adopt sound analysis of confidential data
  • Share information
  • Dispose of information once it is no longer required

Nicholas Oughtibridge’s Biography

Nicholas is the principle author of the Code of Practice on Confidential Information published last year by the HSCIC.  He also leads work to improve the HSCIC operates and the information governance support for the health and social care system.

He has had a varied career in health and care informatics, starting as a Trust information manager and moving into service redesign in the NHS Modernisation Agency, focusing on improving the fairness of NHS waiting lists.  Subsequently he designed the revised waiting list measurement system (18 weeks / referral to treatment periods) while he was the custodian of the NHS Data Dictionary in NHS Connecting for Health.  Before the closure of NHS Connecting for Health he was responsible for the development of NHS Data Standards. 

Future conferences of interest:

Caldicott Guardian Training Course
Tuesday 19 May 2015, London

Wednesday 1 July 2015, London

Monday 12 October 2015, London

Tuesday 1 December 2015, London

Legal Masterclass: Confidentiality, Data Protection and Information Governance
Friday 18 September 2015, London

Download: Nicholas Oughtibridge"s Presentation

6 May 2015


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