The purpose of the Caldicott Guardian originated from the 1997 report produced by the Caldicott Committee, chaired by Dame Fiona Caldicott, which dealt with the use of clinical information held by NHS organisations that can identify patients.
The idea of a guardian was to have a senior person in each NHS organisation responsible for the oversight of the arrangements in that organisation for the use and sharing of clinical information. Subsequent work extended the requirement in 2002 to appoint guardians into councils with social service responsibilities.
In 2005, an elected body was created, made up of Caldicott Guardians from organisations involved in the provision of health and social care services in the United Kingdom. It was set up to facilitate the sharing of good confidentiality practice and the promotion of a national approach to confidentiality and appropriate information sharing.