Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, has announced a Care Quality Commission review into the way NHS organisations handle confidential patient information.
Dame Fiona Caldicott, the National Data Guardian, will contribute to this review by developing clear guidelines for the protection of personal data against which every NHS and care organisation will be held to account.
The CQC will consider how best to measure the implementation of these guidelines and will make recommendations with a view to incorporating checks into existing inspection processes.
This work will be completed in January 2016.
Welcoming the announcement, CQC's Chief Executive David Behan said:"People need to have trust in the NHS and have confidence that their personal medical records will be secure and protected at all times. We welcome the Secretary of State's request for us to carry out a national review of security arrangements across the NHS for patient-confidential medical information. We will work with Dame Fiona and others on this important issue."