Information Governance is the way by which the NHS handles all organisational information - but particularly personal and sensitive information about patients and employees. It allows organisations and individuals to ensure that personal information is dealt with legally, ethically, securely, efficiently and effectively, in order to deliver the best possible care.
It provides a framework bringing together the requirements, standards and best practice that apply to the handling of information. It has four fundamental aims:
- To support the provision of high quality care by promoting the effective and appropriate use of information;
- To encourage responsible staff to work closely together, preventing duplication of effort and enabling more efficient use of resources;
- To develop support arrangements and provide staff with appropriate tools and support to enable them to discharge their responsibilities to consistently high standards;
- To enable organisations to understand their own performance and manage improvement in a systematic and effective way.
The framework currently encompasses:
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- The Confidentiality Code of Practice
- Records Management
- Information Quality Assurance
- Information Security
- Information Governance Management
- More information can be found in the Connecting for Health Information Governance leaflet.
Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust has a comprehensive Information Governance programme managed by the Information Governance Committee and co-ordinated by the Information Governance Manager.
The Information Governance and Security Manager for the Trust is Reaz Khedarun who can be contacted at Reaz.Khedarun@nhs.net.
Compliance is assessed by means of the annual Information Governance Toolkit returns, when levels of achievement are declared, based upon evidence. From April 2010 the IG Toolkit returns will be made through an auditing process, where the evidence declared will be audited independently to ensure that the levels of compliance claimed are verified.