National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care

Part of Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 6th June 2018.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough 9:45 am, 6th June 2018

The problem is that we could easily say that we need to have a regulator, but that is not what the Data Guardian does. We do not want to come along afterwards and say what has gone wrong; we want to get this right at the beginning and work with the different holders of data. It is a different approach. The comparison I think of is when I was involved with combating modern-day slavery. We now have a commissioner for that whose job is not to regulate but to expose and say what is going well or badly, and that helps. There could be pressure on an organisation—for instance, if it gets really bad publicity it will do something about it, but equally the commissioner will show where things are going well. We do not want to move towards a regulator or have lots of enforcement powers because that is totally different to what we have already established with Dame Fiona. Each hospital has a Caldicott guardian in it, so we are basically putting something that works on a statutory footing for the future.

I am pleased by the conversion of the hon. Member for Rhondda to concerns about cost, and I shall remind him of that if there is ever a Labour Government in future—