London – November 2014 – Working closely with Egress Software Technologies, the market-leading provider of encryption services, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust (CLCH) explains how healthcare professionals are now able to communicate securely with a range of external third parties.
Offering healthcare services at over 160 sites throughout the London boroughs of Barnet, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster, CLCH employs more than 3,000 staff and supports almost one million patients. Providing a range of community and in-patient services, including rehabilitation, palliative care, and NHS walk-in and urgent care centres, as well as offering comprehensive care and support in patient homes, CLCH’s needed a solution that would enable their diverse workforce to communicate very sensitive patient information securely.
Marek Zakrzewski, Information Security Manager at CLCH, explains: “The NHS in general is increasingly communicating with local councils and other healthcare providers, as well as with the patients themselves – and with many different clinics spread across Central London, CLCH is no exception. We consequently needed a way to communicate personal identifiable data securely, including to recipients outside of the NHS network, in order to remain compliant with the Data Protection Act (DPA) and other UK legislation.
“Although the trust has always been acutely aware of the importance of data security and had previously implemented a different solution, the risk that their international data centres pose to compliance and the high number of CLCH staff already using Switch Secure Email as free recipients meant that when the contract came for renewal, we decided to change platforms. “We selected Switch Secure Email for two main reasons. Firstly, being a UK-based company, Egress makes it easy to comply with the DPA. When working with companies that are not UK-based, we always have to take into account the possibility that our data may transgress the European community’s boundary, triggering the eighth principle of the DPA, and require additional work to remain compliant. So Egress makes it easy for us in that respect. Secondly, Switch Secure Email is certified by CESG, the communications security arm of the UK Government, which makes usage of Egress technology very secure.”
The UK’s first, and currently only, CESG CPA Foundation Grade certified email encryption product, Switch Secure Email helps both public and private sector customers to share IL2 and low-threat IL3 data (OFFICIAL and OFFICIAL SENSITIVE under the new Government Classification Policy) over the internet, without the need to manage external third party credentials.
“We were also looking for a system that is very easy to use,” continues Zakrzewski. “The NHS workforce is busy treating patients and we didn’t want to introduce another new technology that would create a distraction for them. However, users were surprised by how easy Switch Secure Email is to use. Effectively, they only need to mark emails as private, personal or confidential, and the policy and governance is taken care of in the background.
“Switch Secure Email has proven very valuable to us and we are consequently looking to expand our usage of the Switch platform. We are currently examining our capability to transfer very large files in and out of the trust, so we can leverage Egress technology using Switch Secure File Transfer instead of using a secure file transfer protocol. In addition, we can also make use of the Switch Secure Web Form, which would allow patients to send their own data to us securely, even if they don’t understand how this is done.”
Commenting on the announcement, Egress UK Sales Manager Kelly McCann stated: “CLCH are an excellent example of an NHS organisation recognising the need for encryption services when communicating sensitive patient information between staff members and with third parties, such as local authorities and other health and social care providers, and proactively taking steps to remain compliant with data protection laws and legislation. Using Switch Secure Email, CLCH can ensure they are protected from the data losses and breaches that can put patients at risk and incur large penalty fines. We look forward to working closely with CLCH to provide an integrated approach to secure communication, whether by email, file transfer or web form.”
About the Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Providing healthcare in the boroughs of Barnet, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster, we employ more than 3,000 health professionals and support staff to provide community and in-patient services to almost one million people across London.
We provide a number of services in the community, including: adult community nursing services, children and family services, specialist services to help manage long term conditions, rehabilitation and therapies, palliative care services, offender health services and NHS walk-in and urgent care centres.