Happy Data Privacy Day!

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In honour of Data Privacy Day we hear from PCD’s Quality & Governance Officer, Nicola Merricks on the importance of Data Protection and what the celebration of this day means to her and the role she plays.

Data Protection Day seems like perfect opportunity to remind everyone that data protection concerns all of us. At its core the UK GDPR strives to ensure that personal data is protected and appropriately safeguarded and that’s where I come in!

My role as Quality & Governance Officer at PCD has naturally grown over time to encompass Information Governance and all that entails. It is my job to minimise the risks to personal data by putting in place appropriate and effective policies, procedures and measures.

I regularly monitor and audit our adherence to Data Protection across the organisation. This includes Privacy Officer Investigations, monitoring the access and use of our clinical systems and ensuring PCD have the appropriate Data Processing and Sharing Agreements in place. I grant access to the use of our Clinical Systems either via manual log in details or the creation and issue of Smartcards.

Recent projects include a newly created IG Code of Conduct for PCD staff members and the development of a Records Management Audit and Clinical Record Keeping policy to support clinicians working within the services we offer.

I am currently working on assessing PCD against the ICO Accountability Framework. The outcome of the self assessment will allow PCD to check how our existing procedures measure against the ICO’s expectations and further understand ways in which we can demonstrate our compliance. This will provide further evidence to support the annual submission of our Data Security and Protection Toolkit.

PCD has grown considerably over the last 12 months and it is imperative that we continue to practice high standards of Data Protection. A data-mapping project is due to be commenced to ensure the Information Governance Group have full oversight of one of our most important assets – information!

Although it is great to have an official day to celebrate Data Protection at PCD, every day is Data Protection Day to us.