The Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD) replaced the Data Access Advisory Group in 2017 and incorporated the data dissemination role of the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) Independent Advisory Group (IAG). As per IGARD’s Terms of Reference (ToR), IGARD’s primary purpose will be to have oversight of all requests for dissemination of confidential information as defined in Section 263 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, including:
• Personal data as defined in the General Data Protection Regulation (and in due course the Data Protection Act 2018);
• Personal Information as defined in the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007;
• Data which is pseudonymised, anonymous in context or which is de-identified for limited access
• Data which is aggregated but which does not have small numbers suppressed
IGARD will also make general recommendations or observations to NHS Digital, via the SIRO, Caldicott Guardian, or other approved route, about NHS Digital’s processes, policies and procedures relating to data disseminations from NHS Digital, including transparency measures such as the data dissemination register, and produce IGARD’s annual report
The members and Chair of IGARD are all independent: that is they will not otherwise hold substantive employment contracts with NHS Digital.