A new chair has been appointed to the Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG).
Dr Tony Calland, a former GP and current CAG vice chair of the group, will replace current chair Dr Mark Taylor in January 2018.
CAG provides independent expert advice on the appropriate use of confidential patient information. The law recognises that there is important medical research and essential NHS activity beyond individual direct care that requires the use of identifiable patient and service user information, but where it is not always practical to obtain consent. CAG’s role includes considering applications for access to confidential patient information, while protecting and promoting the interests of patients and the public. The group also a statutory role to advise NHS Digital on dissemination issues.
Commenting on the appointment, Jonathan Montgomery, HRA Chair, said: “I am delighted that Tony has agreed to take on this important role. He has been engaged for many years with the challenges of protecting patients’ privacy while also ensuring that health services can properly use data to improve the quality of care and the enhance the research base on which clinical decisions are made.
"He brings wisdom, experience, and clinical insights from his distinguished career as a GP and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”
Dr Calland is a retired GP who has held roles with the British Medical Association Medical Ethics Committee, the Bevan Commission, and the National Information Governance Board.
Tony said: “I hope to continue the excellent work that Dr Taylor has done with this committee, and ensure that the incredibly rich clinical information within medical records is used to help answer the many research questions which arise in medical practice today.
"I intend the committee to continue to demonstrate consistency and transparency in its deliberations so that individual patients, the public and the research community can all have confidence that decisions made are both independent and carefully considered."
“The committee will continue to encourage the use of modern research techniques in de-identification and data security to allow access to clinical information whilst protecting individual patient privacy.”
Further details on Tony’s previous roles are detailed in his biography.
Dr Taylor has reflected on his experiences as CAG chair in this blog. He leaves the group to take on a new role at Melbourne Law School in Australia.