The Health and Social Care Information Centre will host a new Information Governance Alliance group which aims to bring together “specialist knowledge” on IG issues.

A paper being presented to the HSCIC board next week, says that the alliance has been proposed as a result of Dame Fiona Caldicott’s Independent Oversight Panel requesting that the centre develops a “single source of trust” for IG guidance across health and social care.

“There is a lack of cohesion across these national bodies and an absence of a pool of resources possessing the scarce detailed knowledge of information governance which is often required to resolve complex system-wide IG issues,” says the paper.

“Since the abolition of the Strategic Health Authorities, many of the networks of IG expertise which were relied upon by many have been disbanded.

“The Information Governance Alliance has been proposed as a means of bringing these resources together to consolidate specialist knowledge from member organisations and provide a single source of authoritative and credible guidance on IG to the health and social care sector.”

Dame Fiona’s independent panel was set up after the second Caldicott review to “scrutinise and challenge” progress regarding the 26 recommendations made in her review.

Earlier this year, the HSCIC also set up a Caldicott Implementation Monitoring Group which will “help bust myths and anxieties that have grown up around the use of personal confidential data to support commissioning.”

NHS England, the Department of Health and HSCIC are all proposed to be equal members of the alliance, and the government will establish a web portal  as a “route to disseminate best practice and guidance” from the group to staff working in health and social care.

The portal will feature guidance material on information governance.

"The first document produced and published by the IG Alliance will be an information handout for health and social care staff, ‘confidentiality and the duty to share information for direct care’ to empower front line clinical staff to share confidential information when it is needed for the safe and effective care of an individual," says the board paper.

According to the board paper, Monitor and Public Health England have also expressed interest in joining the alliance.