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Caldicott Guardian

A Caldicott Guardian is a senior person responsible for protecting the confidentiality of patient and service-user information and enabling appropriate information sharing.

Mr Mark Henwood, Interim Medical Director is Hywel Dda University Health Board's Caldicott Guardian.

He acts as the ‘conscience’ of HDdUHB by supporting work to enable information sharing and advising on options for lawful and ethical processing of information.

Contact information 

Caldicott Guardian
Mr Mark Henwood, Interim Medical Director  

Deputy Caldicott Guardian
Dr June Picton - Associate Medical Director (Professional Standards)



About the role

Each NHS organisation is mandated to have a Caldicott Guardian, as are Councils with Social Services responsibilities, and partner organisations. The Guardian plays a key role in satisfying the highest practical standards for handling patient identifiable information.

The Caldicott Guardian is a strategic role, which involves representing and championing Information Governance requirements and issues at Board level. Further information is available from the Caldicott Council (opens in new tab).


Caldicott Guardian Principles

The term used to describe how organisations and individuals manage the way information is handled within the health and social care system is ‘information governance’. In 1997, there was a Review of the Uses of Patient Identifiable Information, chaired by Dame Fiona Caldicott. This review devised six general principles of information governance that could be used by all health and social care organisations with access to patient information.  These are known as the ‘Caldicott Principles’.

In January 2012, the NHS Future Forum work stream on information recommended a review.  This was “to ensure an appropriate balance between the protection of patient information, and the use and sharing of information to improve patient care”.

The Government accepted this recommendation and asked Dame Fiona to lead the work, which became known as the Caldicott 2 review. As part of that review, a seventh principle was added to the original principles.

In December 2020 an 8th principle has been added. For more information, please visit the dedicated page for the Caldicott Principles (opens in new tab).

Good information sharing is essential for providing safe and effective care within the Health Board. There are also important uses of information for purposes other than individual care, Secondary Care uses. These contribute to the overall delivery of health, social care or to serve wider public interests.

The principles below apply to the use of personal and confidential information within the Health Board. These are also applied when such information is shared with other organisations and between individuals, both for individual care and for other purposes.

Personal and confidential information within the Health Board, collected for health and social care, must be kept private. The principles should be applied to all data where patients and service users can be identified. This may include for instance, details about symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, names and addresses. In some instances, the principles should also be applied to the processing of staff information.

The principles are primarily intended to guide organisations and their employees. However, it should be remembered that patients, service users and/or their representatives should be included as active partners in the use of confidential information.

Caldicott Guardian approval must always be sought for the secondary processing of patient personal and confidential information. This means where it is intended for use for a purpose other than the delivery of direct care. 

Examples of this are:

  • Protocols that permit the sharing of patient data between organisations.
  • Official registers.
  • External research projects to which the organisation is party.
  • Employees’ post graduate projects.

Where a novel and/or difficult judgment or decision is required, it is advisable to involve a Caldicott Guardian.

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