NHS Digital launches IGARD

A new independent group that reviews applications for sensitive NHS Digital data has formally launched with expert members and an enhanced transparency remit.

IGARD considers applications through the Data Access Request Service as a replacement for the Data Access Advisory Group (DAAG).

It aims to improve accountability, quality and consistency through robust, independent scrutiny of NHS Digital data disseminations, as well as provide a voice for stakeholders and members of the public.

The make-up of the new group is as follows:

  •  Chris Carrigan, Independent Chair
  •  Joanne Bailey, Specialist Member (former DAAG Member)
  •  James Wilson, Specialist Member (former DAAG Member)
  •  Eve Sariyiannidou, Specialist Member (former DAAG Member)
  •  Jon Fistein, Specialist Member
  •  Anomika Bedi, Specialist Member
  •  Nicola Fear, Specialist Member
  •  Kirsty Irvine, Lay Member
  •  Sarah Baalham, Lay Member
  •  Debby Lennard, Lay Member

Chris Carrigan explains: “The IGARD members have an essential role in overseeing and advising NHS Digital on data releases.

“Keeping the balance between using data for the right reasons and protecting those to whom the data relates is a challenging task, but one the group will embrace.”

Rob Shaw, NHS Digital’s Chief Operating Officer, adds: “IGARD will streamline existing processes and ensure that our data collection, processing and sharing continues to be independently scrutinised by a balanced group of lay and expert members.

“IGARD supports improved transparency, accountability and consistency, which is incredibly important within our broader remit as trusted custodians of patient information.

“We welcome Chris and the other new members to the fold, and we look forward to working with them.”