Guest Blog - Faouzi Alam - Caldicott Guardian
Hello, my name is Faouzi Alam and, as well as being a Medical Director here at CWP, I am also the Trust’s Caldicott Guardian. I also sit on the UK Caldicott Guardian Council (UKCGC) which oversees the Caldicott function nationally.
A Caldicott Guardian is a senior person, within an NHS organisation, who is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of patient and service user information. This is done by adhering to 7 Caldicott Principles, which can be found here. As well as being a highly responsible role, it is also a legal requirement for NHS Trusts to have a Caldicott Guardian.
I have been the Caldicott Guardian at CWP for three and a half years. I thoroughly enjoy my role as it is rewarding, challenging and intellectually stimulating. It is also, I believe, a role that brings real, positive benefits to our patients.
As Caldicott Guardian, I feel like I am the eyes and ears of our patients on our Trust Board. It is my job to ensure that the information we hold in CWP on staff and patients is managed with confidence securely and safely. This is of paramount importance as we cannot provide safe and effective care, with good experience, without a strong bond of trust between patients and clinicians. This has to begin with a good understanding of confidentiality.
The Caldicott Guardian is also the conscience of every organisation. This helps CWP to manage very complex issues ethically and clinically. This applies to both clinical and non-clinical scenarios.
Traditionally the Caldicott Principles have been seen by many as a set of guidelines around managing information in confidence. This has led staff over the years to be too careful with information sharing to the detriment of patient’s care. Caldicott 2 addressed this problem by putting equal importance on sharing, rather than not sharing of information.
In order to provide safe and effective care for people we serve, clinicians need to have the right amount of information. So, I would argue that appropriate information sharing is one of the most important factors in delivering excellent care. The Caldicott principles provide us with the tools and framework to achieving that aim.