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National Health Service of Wales extends use of Ipswitch File Transfer technology from 2,000 third party public service users to over 5,000 later this year, delivering secure data transfers and ensuring compliance across the healthcare industry

 

London, UK and Milton Keynes, UK: NHS Wales, the publicly-funded healthcare body tasked with providing care services for three million citizens of 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.

NHS Wales is the over-arching body responsible for all health boards and trusts within Wales, encompassing 65,000 staff nationwide, working across hospitals, university hospitals, GP surgeries, clinics, dental practices, palliative care, pharmacies and more. Its challenge was to rationalise and secure information flow, guard against the regulatory censure of already-cash-strapped agencies, and robustly fulfil its duty of care for patient records.

One of the major drivers for adopting a secure managed file transfer solution was data protection requirements laid out by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promote openness by public bodies and safeguard data privacy for individuals. By using Ipswitch File Transfer’s MOVEit technology, NHS Wales also meets ISO 27001 security standards.

Ipswitch FT MOVEit was initially procured solely for use by the staff of infrastructure support and operational teams within NHS Wales Informatics but it soon became clear that it was the ideal solution for the whole of NHS Wales. Currently, 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, as awareness and demand for MOVEit grows. NHS Wales is also testing the Ad-Hoc facility within MOVEit for sharing files and data securely through Microsoft Outlook.

Prior to implementing Ipswitch File Transfer, 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. Today employees depend on MOVEit 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.

Through Ipswitch FT technology, IT representatives within NHS Wales are equipped with the knowledge of how, when, where and with who sensitive information, such as patient records and x-ray files, is being shared. IT teams are now able to properly track, manage and encrypt mail traffic while at rest or in transit, and take protective precautionary measures when necessary. Such visibility allows for reporting to upper management in a timely, highly-effective manner, creating a confident work environment within the internal IT department.

Ipswitch File Transfer partner, HANDD Business Solutions, provided NHS Wales with implementation and consultation services when rolling out Ipswitch File Transfer MOVEit. HANDD Business Solutions continues to provide NHS Wales with continuous technical support on an as-needed basis.

Andrew Glencross, senior IT security specialist at NHS Wales Informatics Service, is responsible for providing the operational security wrap for all national applications and infrastructure covering every site across NHS Wales. He explained: “As soon as we (NWIS) started using IpswitchFT MOVEit, more and more agencies began asking us if they could take advantage of the service too. 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! Ipswitch File Transfer’s technology partnered with HANDD Business Solutions’ responsive consultation services has given us a high level of confidence in the security of our data transfers that we didn’t have in the past, helping harness our trusted reputation and meet regulatory compliance across the board.”

 

Rich Kennelly, president of Ipswitch’s File Transfer division, said: “Safeguarding healthcare data is of critical importance, with staff across multiple agencies and sites constantly needing to share everything from clinical scans to patient records with internal and external parties, quickly and securely. MOVEit powers many segments of the healthcare industry, including healthcare providers, healthcare services and pharmaceutical companies. We are delighted that NHS Wales trusts Ipswitch’s Managed File Transfer solutions to reliably and securely transfer sensitive information and provide the visibility and control and auditing capabilities demanded by the ICO and other regulatory bodies.”