Sturgeon promises new cash, benchmark, for Scottish health info security

Jeremy Phillips

Scotland’s National Health Service boards are to receive £1 million in order to help improve their IT security. Speaking last week, Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon (right) said the money would help health boards meet a new benchmark standard for information security. This benchmark requires that when mobile devices, such as laptops and memory sticks, are used to store information that can identify patients, the data must be encrypted to a new common standard.

The award comes after a report was published into how confidential patient records were left in the disused Strathmartine Hospital on the outskirts of Dundee. The Scottish Government has already promised to implement a series of recommendations contained in that report, including one which states empty buildings should not be used for the storage of any health records or personal identifiable information. The report also recommended that if any information is no longer needed it should be disposed of and that all NHS staff must be adequately trained in data protection and information management.

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