About us

The National Data Guardian (NDG) advises and challenges the health and care system to help ensure that citizens’ confidential information is safeguarded securely and used properly.

Dame Fiona Caldicott was appointed as the first National Data Guardian for health and care by the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, in November 2014. The NDG’s role is to help make sure the public can trust their confidential information is securely safeguarded and make sure that it is used to support citizens’ care and to achieve better outcomes from health and care services.


The NDG wants to build trust in the use of data across health and social care and is guided by these 3 main principles:

  • encouraging clinicians and other members of care teams to share information to enable joined-up care, better diagnosis and treatment

  • ensuring there are no surprises to the citizen about how their health and care data is being used and that they are given a choice about this

  • building a dialogue with the public about how we all wish information to be used, to include a range of voices including commercial companies providing drugs and services to the NHS, researchers discovering new connections that transform treatments, and those managing the services

Who we are

Although sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care, the NDG operates independently, representing the interests of patients and the public. The NDG also appoints an independent group of experts – the NDG Panel – to advise and support this work.

NDG Panel members:

  • Dr Joanne Bailey (GP, member of Independent Group Advising on Release of Data, NHS Digital)
  • John Carvel (Non-Executive Director, Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Chris Cox (Director of Membership Relations, Royal College of Nursing)
  • Mark Golledge (Programme Manager, Health and Care Informatics, Local Government Association)
  • Dr Alan Hassey (retired GP)
  • Rakesh Marwaha (former commissioning accountable officer)
  • Eileen Phillips (freelance writer, communications consultant)
  • Professor Martin Severs (University of Portsmouth, Caldicott Guardian and Lead Clinician, NHS Digital)
  • Anne Stebbing (Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Richard Wild (Chief Information and Digital Officer, Isle of Man)
  • Dr James Wilson (University College London)

There is more information about the backgrounds and experience of NDG Panel members in NDG Panel members short biographies (PDF, 122KB, 3 pages) .

The panel meets 6 times a year. You can find minutes of the NDG Panel on our publications page.

UK Caldicott Guardian Council

The UK Caldicott Guardian Council (UKCGC) is a sub-group of the National Data Guardian Panel. The chair of the council sits on the NDG Panel.

The council is the national body for Caldicott Guardians, who are responsible for protecting the confidentiality of people’s health and care information and making sure it is used properly. All NHS organisations and local authorities that provide social services must have a Caldicott Guardian.

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