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Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

General News

PSNC Responds to Independent IG Review

PSNC has provided input into the independent review of Information Governance within the NHS in England, "Information: To Share or Not to Share?". The review is being led by Dame Fiona Caldicott, Chair of the Committee that identified the 'Caldicott Principles' in 1977. The review's remit is wide-ranging.  

Points raised by PSNC include the potential to extend the original 'Caldicott Principles' as a means of establishing a more uniform approach to the collection of consent to share information about NHS patients. At present there are geographical and inter-professional differences in NHS consent requirements that create confusion for both patients and health professionals. 

PSNC also highlighted the potential to simplify the approach used by the NHS to collect assurances from providers on  NHS Information Governance standards. Although there have been improvements to the usability of the NHS Information Governance Toolkit in recent years, there is scope to continue to reduce bureaucracy in the current process which is leading to additional costs for the NHS without additional benefits.

Information governance controls need to be proportionate and an aim of the review is to identify the right balance between protecting information and using information to support patient care. An area where the right balance hasn't yet been found is the current requirement for pharmacy staff to have individual smartcards to access Release 2 of the Electronic Prescription Service. This policy is not workable in busy pharmacies; a conclusion that has also been drawn by independent researchers commissioned by the Connecting for Health Evaluation Programme. This policy need to be reviewed, with a view to creating a more practical solution, with proportionate security controls.

Click on the link below to download a copy of the PSNC submission:

PSNC Input: 'To Share or Not to Share'

Background Information

Information: To Share or Not to Share?

NHS Information Governance Requirements

Posted 19 September 2012

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