March 14th and March 15th Digital health conference in London

16 March, 2023

Digital health rewired was at the Islington Business Design Centre [*see note below]

Rewired 2023 programme explores the future of UK digital health

The conference attracted 5000 registrants and many commercial providers. And was designed to explore the new fast changing digital health world.

The head of NHS Transformation described how UK health data was processed with different governance requirements within the four health arenas – direct patient care, public health, planning and finally research. The UK was developing integrated care systems which linked up to a million people in a shared digital health record. From this a “federated Data platform” for the country might emerge.

An Integrated Care Board chairman (an ex health minister) explained how the integrated Care System would include social services, rest homes and the community as well as the NHS, the latter which was just 50% of health and social care provision.

The National Data Guardian described “trusted research environments” into which data from direct patient care could be processed for research that could be shown to create public benefit - OpenSAFELY: About OpenSAFELY

The National Data Guardian’s report report looks back over the work of the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care during 2021-2022. It also describes her work priorities for 2022-2023. National Data Guardian 2021-2022 report - GOV.UK ( The NDG’s mission is supported by four long-term strategic objectives:

1. Safeguard trust in the confidentiality of our health and social care system

2. Encourage safe and appropriate information sharing for individual care

3. Support understanding and engagement about how and why data is used

4. Encourage the safe, appropriate, and ethical use of data in system planning, research and innovation that benefits the public.

…and gives guidance on Caldicot Guardians

A Caldicott Guardian is a senior person within a health or social care organisation who makes sure that confidential information about those who use its services is used legally, ethically, and appropriately, and that confidentiality is maintained. They play a vital role in ensuring that health and social care data is used responsibly to support the delivery of better care.

After public consultations during 2020-21, the NDG issued the new guidance in August 2021; it covers the following areas:

• which organisations should appoint a Caldicott Guardian

• advice on how to appoint them

• the way the role should be supported by organisations

• the role and responsibilities of a Caldicott Guardian

• the competencies and knowledge that will assist a Caldicott Guardian

Next year’s conference requires a bigger exhibition centre as digital medicine is expanding so quickly.

HIFA profile: Richard Fitton is a retired family doctor - GP. Professional interests: Health literacy, patient partnership of trust and implementation of healthcare with professionals, family and public involvement in the prevention of modern lifestyle diseases, patients using access to professional records to overcome confidentiality barriers to care, patients as part of the policing of the use of their patient data Email address: richardpeterfitton7 AT

[*Note from HIFA moderator, NPW. Thank you once again Richard for reflecting your observations from physical events (like this one) and virtual ones. Apart from the above, did anything at the event surprise you? Was there discussion of ChatGPT? (a rhetorical question I'm sure)]