NHS denies smartcard security breached

NHS Connecting for Health (CfH) has denied that patient confidentiality was compromised by staff sharing smartcards at a West Midlands hospital trust.

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NHS Connecting for Health (CfH) has denied that patient confidentiality was compromised by staff sharing smartcards at a West Midlands hospital trust.

South Warwickshire General Hospitals trust had allowed some staff to share smartcards to sped up access to patient data – a move that breaks security policy under the £12.4bn NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

But CfH, which runs the national programme, said there was “no question of the confidentiality of patient data having been compromised” by the trust.

“In the case of this trust a small number of staff were authorised by the Trust's board to share smartcards. These were all clinical staff, bound by their professional codes of confidentiality, operating in a secure non-public part of the hospital.”

The agency added: “The trust is aware of the need to revert to the normal policy framework for the use of smartcards and, as these early issues relating to the speed of the application are resolved, is it hoped this will happen in the near future.”

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