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  • Wales sets out more on IT supplier selection for GMS Framework Contract

    Wales sets out more on IT supplier selection for GMS Framework Contract

    Wednesday, 21 February 2018 15:57
  • Consultation opens on MoU on data sharing between NHS Digital and Home Office

    Consultation opens on MoU on data sharing between NHS Digital and Home Office

    Monday, 19 February 2018 11:03
  • NHS to distribute KardiaMobile AF diagnosis device

    NHS to distribute KardiaMobile AF diagnosis device

    Thursday, 15 February 2018 16:07
  • NHS Wales opts for Vision and Microtest as preferred GP IT software providers

    NHS Wales opts for Vision and Microtest as preferred GP IT software providers

    Thursday, 01 February 2018 11:20
  • NHS Digital issues guidance on use of off-shore and cloud computing for NHS data

    NHS Digital issues guidance on use of off-shore and cloud computing for NHS data

    Tuesday, 23 January 2018 12:24

a computer imageJanuary 23 2018

Healthcare providers wanting to use cloud computing or off-shore storage for data, including patient information, are being asked to adopt new national guidance.


NHS Digital has published the guidance ahead of the implementation in May of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which tightens restrictions on the processing and transfer of personal data. The new guidance relates both to NHS and social care providers.  

It states that cloud computing services are permitted for NHS data, but this must only be hosted within the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA), a country deemed adequate by the European Commission, or in the US where covered by Privacy Shield.

“Senior Information Risk Owners (SIROs) locally should be satisfied about appropriate security arrangements (using National cyber security essentials as a guide) in conjunction with Data Protection Officers and Caldicott Guardians,” it adds.

The document also highlights potential benefits for organisations which use cloud facilities. “These include cost savings associated with not having to buy and maintain hardware and software, and comprehensive back-up and fast recovery of systems. Together these features cut the risk of health information not being available due to local hardware failure.”

There is also a “more detailed explanation to help organisations comply with expected standards when choosing to adopt these technologies. It sets out the legalities and best practice as to how data should be stored and used.”

Rob Shaw, Deputy Chief Executive at NHS Digital, commented: “It is for individual organisations to decide if they wish to use cloud and data offshoring but there are a huge range of benefits in doing so, such as greater data security protection and reduced running costs when implemented effectively.

“The guidance being published today will give greater clarity about how these technologies can be used and how data, including confidential patient information, can be securely managed.”

Links:
NHS Digital announcement       
NHS Digital ‘NHS and social care data: off-shoring and the use of public cloud services’  

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