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National Data Guardian Dame Fiona Caldicott passes away


Mark Say Managing Editor


Dame Fiona Caldicott, the national data guardian for health and social care, has passed away after a short illness.

Fional Caldicott

Her organisation announced her passing in a statement, describing here as a “towering presence” in the field of medical confidentiality and public trust.

She had been in the role, one of the most important in public sector information governance, since November 2014 and was confirmed as the first statutory holder of the position in April 2019.

In 1997 she produced the report recommending that NHS organisations should each appoint a ‘guardian’ to uphold the six Caldicott Principles she had established for sharing confidential data. The role became known as Caldicott guardian and a seventh principle was added in her Information Governance Review of 2012-13.

The statement said: “Her longevity in office gave her an apparently unfailing sense of judgement about when and how to intervene most effectively in dealings with Government departments and other organisations. She put patients and service users first. She knew outcomes were more important than headlines.”

Image from, Open Government Licence v3.0

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