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Governance of

The NHS website ( is owned by the Department of Health (DH). The content and services on the website are commissioned by the Informatics Services Commissioning Group (ISCG) on behalf of the DH. The site is governed by the Health & Social Care Digital Service (HSCDS) Programme Board and the HSCDS Delivery and Operations Board.

The Health and Social Care Act makes data, information and technology key to transforming health and care for citizens and patients by enabling transparency and empowering participation. It is vital that we work together effectively to ensure that the planning and commissioning of national data and technology services is coherent and credible. We must ensure that services are designed in the context of the whole system, and not as independently championed or isolated programmes. This will drive improved impact and outcomes as well as greater efficiency. A core objective will be to reduce the cost of ICT while greatly improving the flow of data and the quality of digital services to the public and those who serve them.

It is for this reason that the DH collectively established the ISCG, which will manage future investment in informatics in health, healthcare and social care.

The Informatics Services Commissioning Group

The Informatics Services Commissioning Group (ISCG) is a partnership group with membership from organisations across the health and care system, including NHS England, the Department of Health, Public Health England, Monitor, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Health Education England, the Care Quality Commission, the NHS Trust Development Authority, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the Health & Social Care Information Centre.

The HSCDS Programme Board

An ISCG sub-committee, and the most senior governance board, meets every month at the Department of Health. Chaired by Sir Muir Gray, it defines and manages the strategic direction and priorities of the service. The HSCDS Programme Board responds to National Reference Groups, the Clinical Information Advisory Group and deals with escalated requests from the Delivery and Operations Board. It is also responsible for approving yearly financial budgets and development plans. 

The HSCDS Delivery and Operations Board

The board is responsible for the day-to-day operations and development of the services. Jonathon Carr-Brown, managing director of the HSCDS, is the chair of this board. The board meets weekly and decides on the governance, management, future development and operations of the service within the strategy approved by the HSCDS Programme Board.

The Clinical Information Advisory Group

The Clinical Information Advisory Group (CIAG), chaired by Charles Gutteridge, national clinical director for informatics, is part of the overall governance of the Digital Services delivery programme. The group is responsible for setting editorial and data quality standards for NHS Choices and for providing overall clinical governance for the service.

Page last reviewed: 12/09/2013

Next review due: 12/09/2015

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