Caldicott Principles: a consultation about revising, expanding and upholding the principles

Closed 11 Sep 2020

Opened 25 Jun 2020


The Caldicott Committee’s Report on the Review of Patient-Identifiable Information published in 1997 recommended six good practice principles to be applied to the use of confidential information in the NHS. It also recommended that a senior person, preferably a health professional, should be nominated in each health organisation to act as a guardian, responsible for safeguarding the confidentiality of patient information.

The principles became known as the Caldicott Principles and the senior individuals responsible for ensuring the principles were upheld in their organisations became known as Caldicott Guardians. Every NHS organisation has had to have a Caldicott Guardian since 1998, and every local authority with adult social care responsibilities has been required to do so since 2002.

The Information Governance Review, published in 2013, reviewed the principles and introduced a new principle to encourage good information sharing in the best interests of patients and between the health and social care sectors, this being:

Caldicott Principle 7: The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality.

Why your views matter

The National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care (NDG) is now seeking views on:

  • Proposed revisions to the seven existing Caldicott Principles.
  • Proposed extension of the Caldicott Principles through the introduction of an additional principle which makes clear that patient and service user expectations must be considered and informed when confidential information is used.
  • The proposal that the NDG uses her statutory power to issue guidance about organisations appointing Caldicott Guardians to uphold the Caldicott Principles.

These proposed changes are based on discussions the NDG has had with a range of stakeholders. Wider insight is now sought from the public, patients and service users, health and social care providers, clinicians, care professionals, other health and care staff and other key stakeholders to ensure that we address any significant issues and concerns. For more detail, see our consultation background document.

The work that has led to this consultation has been taking place over more than two years. These proposals are not a response to the current pandemic or the data sharing arrangements that it has prompted. However, we hope that by conducting our consultation now we can develop a revised set of eight Caldicott Principles and guidance in time to inform decisions and discussions about data sharing after the pandemic is resolved.

Note: This survey is branded NHS Digital as NHS Digital has kindly offered us the use of its survey tool. However, the survey is being run for NDG purposes and all analysis of responses will be undertaken by members of the NDG team.


  • All Areas


  • Key NDG Stakeholders


  • Information Governance