A new independent panel overseeing the implementation of the Caldicott2 review of information governance will provide a progress report in a year.

Dame Fiona Caldicott is chairing the panel, which will scrutinise the implementation of her review’s recommendations and provide advice on information governance issues.

The second Caldicott review was set up in response to the work of the NHS Future Forum, led by Professor Steve Field, which recommended that the balance between information governance and information sharing should be revisited.

The review aimed to balance the need to keep confidential information confidential with the need to share it across health and social care teams and to use data for research. It introduced a new ‘duty to share’ information where it is in the best interest of the patient.

Dame Fiona told EHI the review panel has already held a couple of meetings and is “thinking about how we are going to monitor what’s being done”.

One issue it is looking to focus on is that of information for commissioners. This is presenting significant problems because commissioners can no longer get access to patient confidential data that was previously used for tasks such as invoice validation and risk stratification.

Dame Fiona said there is also talk about the need to provide a central repository of information and expertise, where people with questions about information governance can go for help.

This overarching body could be a knowledge resource, bringing together evidence and latest thinking on IG issues, “because at the moment it’s really hard for someone with a question to know where to go either to get an answer or advice”.

“Given the complexity of this area and the fact that groups giving advice have grown up in a rather random fashion.

"We probably need to take a step back and say, given the importance of this area what would be the best thing in the future to oversee this system?” she explained.

Dame Fiona said the new review panel is made up of experts in the field who are “willing to be independent from lobby groups”.

The other members are: Anne Stebbing; Ian Atkinson; Dr Alan Hassey; Richard Wild; Eileen Phillips; John Carvel; Mark Taylor; Caroline Tapster; Professor Martin Severs; and Janet Davies.