Reputation, reputation, reputation. Whether we like it or not, it’s important - and sadly, there’s no doubt that information governance has a bad one. I think we can draw a perfect comparison between IG and health and safety - often found in the same, somewhat demonised position: myths around how the latter has ‘gone mad’ belie the truth that rates of fatal Injuries have fallen significantly over the past 30 years, saving thousands of lives.
Information governance is much the same: holding a pivotal role in improving the security of our datasets and building the public’s confidence in how we use data. When IG is done well, the public can depend on their data being handled securely. Data within health and care is shared safely, and with the knowledge that it can support the improvement of care across the NHS – or indeed, determine areas of good practice, that the rest of the system can learn from. Fundamentally, it is about transparency, and trust.
We all have a responsibility to dispel some of the most pervasive myths about IG, and to change the culture so that staff across the NHS see colleagues working in IG as valued members of their transformation team. I hope during the session I’ll be chairing at the Digital Healthcare Show; ‘Do I share, what do I share and when do I share?’, we’ll be able to address some of these challenges, and consider how we can resolve them.
[Geraint will be chairing a session on 26 June at 1.30pm]
Dr. Geraint Lewis is the Chief Data Officer at NHS England and an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at University College London. He trained in medicine at the University of Cambridge, holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and completed the Major Projects Leadership Academy (MPLA) at the University of Oxford. Geraint began his career in acute and emergency medicine, working at hospitals in the UK and Australia over an 11-year period. After completing his higher specialist training as a consultant public health physician, he was appointed Senior Fellow of the Nuffield Trust (an independent health policy think-tank), then as Senior Director for Clinical Outcomes and Analytics at Walgreens in Chicago (the world’s largest pharmacy chain), before returning to the UK to take up his current post.