We are proud to launch our GP Data Protection Officer service (DPO) combining our popular Information Governance (IG) Help Desk and DPO services for practices across Bromley, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. Our IG Team has been supporting practices in the four boroughs for the last year with our IG Help Desk, and in September 2019 expanded this service to provide the DPO role. This role was introduced as a new organisational legal requirement under the UK Data Protection Act 2018.

The DPO role exists to monitor data protection compliance, provide a source of sector specific expert privacy guidance and promote the use of and review of Data Protection Impact Assessments. In addition to this, the DPO also supports progress with the NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit, provides oversight and investigation for data breaches and liaise with the Data Protection Authority and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). The role is expected to report to the highest levels of management within an organisation to ensure that expert and lawful guidance and insight is built into organisational procedures and controls. The legislation explicitly demands that DPOs have the necessary skills, experience and qualifications to be able to diligently discharge their duties, and we are delighted to have been selected to fulfil this role for practices across south east London.

Our DPO service and IG Helpdesk look forward to working with their customers to provide expert data protection guidance and support throughout the coming year. We are delighted to be facilitating fair and lawful sharing of patient data across organisational boundaries and new ways of working as part of Primary Care Networks and Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships.