New understanding for CQC and the NDG for Health and Social Care

GDPR is beginning to bite a year after its introduction, The ICO is no longer soft-peddling on those who fail to take the necessary steps to comply, and some famous names have received hefty fines in recent months. So, this is a good time for the CQC to join forces with the national guardian to make sure that clear, co-operative arrangements, and lines of communication, are agreed and widely shared

Credit: CQC News

The CQC and National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care have signed a memorandum of understanding together. This new agreement, published in July this year, sets out how these two organisations will work together in order to safeguard the wellbeing of the public receiving health and social care in England.

The National Data Guardian (NDG) promotes the provision of advice and guidance about the processing of health and adult social care data in England. The National Data Guardian role was put on a statutory footing in April 2019, established under the Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Act 2018, to act as an advocate for patients and service users on how health and care data is used. Dame Fiona Caldicott has held the non- statutory position since 2014 and was appointed as the first statutory National Data Guardian in April 2019.

The new formal agreement between both organisations is underpinned by the following principles:

  • respecting each other’s independent status;
  • co-operating in an open and transparent way;
  • making decisions based on promoting people’s safety and encouraging high quality care.

In line with these principles, the agreement confirms that, where an identified breach is within the scope of CQC’s role, the NDG has a clear path for referring the breach to CQC for consideration of appropriate action.

They will also work together to promote the appropriate use of data by health and care organisations and individuals working for them and the agreement will be regularly reviewed to make sure it is relevant, up-to-date and effective.


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