A new Anonymisation Standard comes into force today for health and social care bodies.

The Anonymisation Standard has been devised by the Health and Social Care Information Centre and approved by the Information Standards Board.

It applies to all organisations that publish information about publicly-commissioned health and social care activity and outcomes.

It sets out a process that organisations are required to follow to ensure that the health and social care information they publish is anonymised.

The HSCIC said the standard would help organisations meet some of the challenges set out in Dame Fiona Caldicott’s report on information governance published on Friday.

HSCIC solution design standards and assurance director Clare Sanderson said the government’s open data agenda was putting more data into the public domain, allowing the public to find out more than ever about the performance of public bodies.

“That’s a great benefit to everyone, but we must ensure that we don’t publish information that could identify individuals,” she added.

The new standard has been developed and tested in partnership with a range of stakeholders, including the Information Commissioner’s Office. It will be included within the statutory Code of Practice of the Management of Confidential Information, due to be published this year.

The Anonymisation Standard is effective from April 30 and available online.