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NHS Digital visiting pharmacies to understand cyber security needs

NHS Digital: The visits will help inform future work with community pharmacies and their system suppliers
NHS Digital: The visits will help inform future work with community pharmacies and their system suppliers

NHS Digital is visiting an initial 15 pharmacies in England to understand different community pharmacies' approach to cyber security management.

The initial 15 visits will help inform a wider project, which launched in September, to understand the ways that cyber security is managed across community pharmacy, “which is a critical segment within the health and care sector”, NHS Digital told C+D earlier this month (November 6).

“The results will be collated and used to inform future guidance and work with community pharmacies and their system suppliers,” NHS Digital said.

NHS Digital should have the results of the pilot visits – which are scheduled to end later this month – by the end of year.

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee community pharmacy IT lead Daniel Ah-Thion told C+D that the negotiator has been working with NHS Digital “to improve guidance in this area for community pharmacies”.

“In our digital world, cyber threats are an ongoing security concern,” he said. “These cyber and data security pilots will help to identify key learnings to inform future best practice guidelines.”

Community pharmacies were not directly affected by the 2017 cyber attack that left GP practices and hospitals unable to deliver services to patients.

However,pharmacists at the time told C+D that they had to step in and manage emergency medicine supplies, while most of the other NHS services could not function.

Does your pharmacy have cyber security protocols?

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

My suggestion. Don't waste time in pilots. Just provide a security software to all NHS organisation FREE of COST. And then if anyone complains, you go in to pin them down. I am sure this one exercise of 15 pharmacies would have paid for atleast 1000 software licenses!!

The NHSE&I these days thinks of nothing. Just like investing millions in hiring part time clinical Pharmacists to do a Clerks job.

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