NHS Wales Bolsters Information Security With Ipswitch Deal

Channel News

Health service to extend compliant use of secure data transfers to 5,000 users by year end

NHS Wales is expanding its use of Ipswitch FT’s MoveIt Managed File Transfer system to 5,000 third party public service users, including health boards, social service providers, ambulance operators and the police.

Handd Business Solutions provided NHS Wales with implementation and consultation services when rolling out the Ipswitch File Transfer system MoveIt and will continue to provide NHS Wales with technical support on an as-needed basis.

Compliance key

One of the major drivers for adopting a secure, managed, file transfer product was data protection requirements laid out by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Ipswitch said its file transfer product would help the health authority to meet ISO 27001 security standards.

Infrastructure support staff and operational teams within NHS Wales Informatics initially used the file transfer product and it became clear it could be extended to the whole organisation. NHS Wales has a MoveIt user-base of around 2,000 third party users, including social services, ambulance operators and the police. By the end of the summer, this installed base is expected to rise to 5,000 users.

The organisation is also testing the Ad-Hoc facility within MoveIt for sharing files and data securely through Microsoft Outlook.

Previously, NHS Wales employees had trouble sharing information securely between sites around the UK particularly when large file sizes, or sensitive information were involved. This saw staff resort to posting paper-copies of records, or couriering discs of MRI scans and x-rays. The product is now in use to ensure secure managed transfer of confidential information from health boards to other health boards, and to social services, clinical trial sites, solicitors, police, health inspectorates and external commercial third-parties.

Ipswitch said that IT representatives within NHS Wales know how, when, where and with whom sensitive information, such as patient records and X-ray files, is being shared. IT teams are now able to track, manage and encrypt mail traffic properly while it is at rest or in transit, and take protective precautionary measures when necessary.

“As soon as we started using IpswitchFT MoveIt, more and more agencies began asking us if they could take advantage of the service too,” said Andrew Glencross, senior IT security specialist at NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS). “We then began rolling it out to other health boards and trusts so that they could also share information securely with their third-parties, such as police crews, ambulance operators, social services, and others – and we simply haven’t stopped.”

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