Information Governance Toolkit

Information Governance Toolkit

As always the submission deadline is 31st March.

All NHS providers, including community pharmacies need to provide information governance assurances to the NHS on an annual basis.  These assurances are provided through completion of an online assessment tool, the NHS Information Governance Toolkit (IGT).  Requirements for Information Governance change annually, and Version 12 of the IG toolkit was released in June 2014.

Pharmacy contractors are reminded that there is no longer any exemption from requirement 319 – the requirement to have a business continuity plan.

The importance of a business continuity plan and its effective implementation can be seen in the event of a failure or a disaster.  The cause of failures as we have seen can be natural, accidental or even deliberate.  Vital business processes still need to be carried out if our patients are to have continued access to pharmaceutical services. Having documented business continuity plans and procedures assists this process enabling all pharmacy staff to know what they need to do in the event of a security failure or disaster.

Therefore, pharmacies must have a business continuity plan in place and provide the necessary assurances via the IG return no later than 31st March 2016. Do not leave it to the last minute!

Guidance on developing a plan can be found in the clinical governance section of the PSNC website and further support in completing the IG toolkit is available here.

Please note: these requirements apply to England only; different arrangements apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.