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Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Bill

Volume 794: debated on Wednesday 12 December 2018

Third Reading


Moved by

My Lords, in moving that the Bill do now pass, I express my gratitude to all noble Lords for their interest in the Bill. I want particularly to thank the noble Baronesses, Lady Thornton, Lady Walmsley and Lady Kidron, and the noble Lords, Lord Patel and Lord Knight of Weymouth. Extended thanks must also go to my honourable friends in the other place, Jo Churchill, who introduced this Bill, and Peter Bone, its recent sponsor. My life was made a great deal easier during the passage of the Bill by the excellent work of the Bill team, and the continual assistance of the Minister, my noble friend Lord O’Shaughnessy, along with that of the Department of Health and Social Care. Before I sit down, I must also mention and thank the current National Data Guardian, Dame Fiona Caldicott, who has contributed so much to work in this area. I beg to move.

My Lords, I join my noble friend briefly in congratulating all those involved in the passage of the Bill. I also extend my thanks to her for her sterling work in raising this issue. The Government strongly support the passage of this Bill and we hope it will achieve Royal Assent swiftly. With the permission of the House, I need to clarify an important point raised at Second Reading on demographic data. I have laid a letter on this subject before the House as a more extended account.

The role of the National Data Guardian is, first and foremost, about good practice in supporting organisations and individuals who process health and adult social care data. The Bill is drafted widely to allow the NDG to issue guidance about the processing of health and adult social care data. This should be interpreted broadly and would allow for the NDG to produce guidance on issues that impact on the processing of health and adult social care data. This would include, for example, good practice in security standards for storing health and adult social care data. This is an example of where guidance is not strictly focussed on health and social data itself, but about the processes and issues that could impact it. Almost anything that should be taken into account when processing health and adult social care data—or which broadly has the potential to impact, affect or influence that processing—would fall within the scope of that definition. With that clarification, I hope we will be able to move forward and that noble Lords will support this Bill. I once again thank my noble friend and congratulate her on her sterling effort.

Bill passed.