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September 2019
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North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust delivers fast, secure access to applications for clinicians in A & E with Imprivata

Top Trust nationwide for A&E performance provides clinicians in emergency care with secure ‘tap and go’ access to NHS spine enabled applications

Imprivata®, the healthcare IT security company, has announced that North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has deployed Imprivata Spine Combined Workflow to deliver secure, No Click Access® to applications on the NHS Spine at the point of care. Using Imprivata OneSign®, clinicians in A&E, the Rapid Access Clinics and the Emergency Assessment Unit can now access NHS Spine applications and see the summary care records for each patient. NHS Spine allows information to be shared securely through national services such as the Electronic Prescription Service, Patient Summary Care Records and the e-Referral Service.  As a result, the Trust has seen improved efficiency, security and data governance.

Using Imprivata OneSign, staff only have to remember one password to access 21 applications and can focus on patient care and utilise essential clinical applications quickly, while workflows have been designed to complement daily activities. Users access the NHS systems with their own smart cards, providing accurate audit logs and ensuring that diagnostic tests and prescribed medications are attributed to the correct clinician.

Chris Bellerby, ICT Specialist, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “Fast access to NHS spine enabled applications has been a game changer for us, the benefits from Imprivata have been immediate.

“We have eliminated unsecure practices such as leaving cards in workstations, sharing credentials and writing passwords down on notes stuck to monitors. This has not only improved security practices but also audit logs ensuring compliance with CQC guidelines. Implementing Imprivata has been a leap forward in achieving digital transformation, improving patient care and enabling staff to work without technological barriers.”

Mr R D Southward, Consultant Emergency Medicine, Consultant Sport & Exercise Medicine, North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “Imprivata makes my life a lot easier managing multiple logins.  It is a big step forward on Information Governance in a busy department with large throughput and multi-device working.”

Nick Roper, Consultant Physician, Clinical Lead, Responsive Care at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust added; “Imprivata speeds up the use of PCs saving valuable clinical time. It also reduces Information Governance risk as cards are not left in machines.”

In addition to mobile desktop and laptop units, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust operates a virtual desktop environment using Citrix XenApp. Imprivata Virtual Desktop Access® extends the single sign-on capabilities to virtual desktops, allowing several users to log in and out of the system, with a tap of their smart badge, without interrupting their session. The Trust also intends to roll Imprivata OneSign to the operating theatres, where time and access to essential patient information are critical factors in care.

Daniel Johnston MRes, RN, and Clinical Workflow Specialist at Imprivata, said; “In all NHS Trusts, A&E, the Rapid Access Clinics and the Emergency Assessment Unit are fast-paced environments where timely decision making is absolutely vital. As a top performing NHS Trust, North Tees has received recognition in its A &E department for its focus on delivering the best possible patient care. Imprivata’s solutions help to support healthcare providers like North Tees by providing fast, secure and compliant access and management for the systems, applications, and data that the clinicians need at the point of care.”

Encryption and GDPR – Where do you Stand?

Reporter: Seymour Roach

Data encryption is nothing new as a need or requirement for an organisation, but since the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force last May, it allows anyone in the Government or public sector a simple and effective way to comply with the legislation.

Article 32 requires “the pseudonymisation and encryption of personal data” and while it is by no means a get out of jail free card, it is a defence. That is because Article 34 suggests that should a breach take place, when data is encrypted, there is no requirement to contact each of the subjects affected by this data loss, something which could prove costly in time, effort and money.

Encryption procedures make achieving compliance a far more attainable goal. For the average employee and contractor working on a corporately-supplied device or through a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, it should be automatic and invisible, embedded within a holistic information security plan.

Organisations are not concerned whether primary numbers, multiple algorithms, symmetric and asymmetric keys or a plethora of three letter acronyms are used. They just want to know it works and can be trusted. If the bits and bytes at risk on their devices are impossible to read, any attack will fail.

Keeping data secure is imperative to any organisation handling sensitive information but it is especially prescient to Government. We have seen in the past newspaper headlines telling how devices – whether laptops, mobile phones or removable media such as USBs – were lost or stolen, and they contained hugely sensitive security plans, phone numbers or addresses.

One key point of an encryption approach is to have everything as locked down as possible and ensure all PII is encrypted in transit and at rest. This should include the mandating of a FIPS certified, hardware encrypted mobile storage device and the enforcement of its use.

Encryption must be correctly implemented with sufficiently strong encryption keys. Ideally these would be protected in hardware, meaning the only method of attack left is brute force which, if managed correctly within the device, can be limited to a defined number of attempts by policy. Additionally, policies focused on whitelisting and locking down USB ports so they can accept only approved devices, are also vital.

Encryption is especially crucial for work carried out off-site, at home, or on the move. For example, research by Apricorn found half of respondents (44%) agreed their organisation expects their mobile workers to expose them to the risk of a breach. A third (32%) also said their organisation has already experienced a data loss or breach as a direct result of mobile working.

This is why organisations must take time to research, identify and mandate corporate-standard, hardware encrypted devices. They must also educate employees on the best practice in using them to mitigate the risk of a breach and potential fines.

This will take some effort across government and public sector departments but in the digital age when data is taken, sorted and used in transit or the cloud or simply sits there at rest, the potential for it to be compromised is huge. It is important though that encryption is not focused solely on the storage layer as this leaves other unprotected points vulnerable to attacks.

Without the right encryption, data can be taken as easily from internal servers as it can during external wireless transfers. This can be down to sophisticated hacking techniques or simply due to complacency or human error. So it is vital to remember that you can encrypt your data at many levels and ultimately it must be a top level decision and action. The end user should never be left with a decision to encrypt or not.

SPINR enlisted by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue to help those most vulnerable

SPINR, the data and API integration company, announced they are working with SYFR to facilitate data sharing between public sector organisations and the fire and rescue service. Only by working together in this way is it possible to identify those in need, so that targeted home visits can be carried out to the elderly and most vulnerable members of the community, ensuring they receive a full fire risk assessment.

The scheme embraces all partners and local organisations working together to effectively identify people from high risk and excluded groups. Some of the people considered most at risk are:

  • Over 65
  • Live alone
  • Have a physical or learning disability
  • Have a sensory or cognitive impairment, including dementia or memory loss
  • Take any medication that may affect their ability to react to or escape from fire
  • Are unable to protect themselves from harm in any way

SYFR store their own data internally in their IT systems, as do the other local partners involved in the scheme. However, only by sharing information is it possible to effectively identify and target resources at people most at risk of fire injury. SYFR has been on a digital transformation journey for some time, marking them out as one of the most ambitious and forward-thinking fire and rescue services in the UK. Assisting them to fulfil this transformation is SPINR’s sister company Shaping Cloud, from which the SPINR licence was purchased through G-Cloud 10.

The data sharing capability provided by SPINR signals the beginning of what is possible when public services organisations work together to protect vulnerable citizens. SYFR intend to continue to introduce these working arrangements with other partners, including local police forces and NHS trusts. The purpose is to enhance the accuracy of the information held by SYFR regarding people living throughout the region that fall into any of the high-risk categories. Enriching their own in-house data with information held by partners means the fire service could be notified immediately to changes. Working in partnership to keep information as relevant and up-to-date as possible, allows fire crews to act in a highly efficient and targeted way.

Steven Locking, IT Manager for SYFR said: “There is increasing evidence that people at greatest risk of fire-related death or serious injury are from vulnerable or hard to reach groups and are already known to statutory, private and voluntary sector organisations. It is therefore vital that local public services focus on partnership, working to improve identification and access to those most at risk in our communities.

We feel it is our duty to help promote this scheme by bringing our local partners together in the spirit of protecting the most vulnerable members of society. Only by enriching our information systems with readily available partner information, can we be highly responsive and targeted in order to get to the most vulnerable in time.”

Carlos Oliveira, CEO of SPINR and Shaping Cloud added: “We are proud to partner with SYFR and be involved in such an important life-saving initiative. This demonstrates how data can be used for the public good, something we are passionate about and is exactly why we developed SPINR.

The multi-year agreement with SYFR, is the ideal platform for us to work collaboratively to facilitate vital information sharing across the public sector throughout South Yorkshire. If we are to take the evidence related to high-risk groups seriously, then schemes like this are critical to the prevention of harm and avoidable loss of life.”

Tech and care industries unite to unveil case for a deal which could transform the learning disability sector

Reporter: Selena Darke

L-R Robert Longley-Cook, William and Gavin Bashar

A new report was launched in Parliament last month setting out the case for a deal for the learning disability sector, focusing on realising the potential of technology to boost investment and transform the way care is delivered.

National learning disabilities charity, Hft, supported by Tunstall Healthcare, produced the paper outlining the key arguments for an economic partnership with the government as part of the UK Industrial Strategy – a long term plan for the future aimed at backing businesses to drive productivity through investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.

The report, which was officially launched at the House of Lords, highlights the challenges faced by a social care sector in financial crisis at a time when demand is growing.  Hft and Tunstall believe the successful negotiation of a learning disability sector deal would enable effective investment that could unlock the potential of assistive technologies. In turn, this would stimulate innovation and investment in future services, bring financial sustainability to providers within the sector, and ultimately deliver enhanced outcomes for people with learning disabilities.

To mark the launch of the paper, more than 100 guests, including MPs, Peers and civil servants, as well as social care providers and telecare organisations, attended a reception on Monday 15th July in the Cholmondeley Room, hosted by Hft Chair of Trustees and Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care Spokesperson, Baroness Jolly. Hft Chief Executive, Robert Longley-Cook, presented the need for a sector deal, and Managing Director of Tunstall, Gavin Bashar, highlighted the benefits of including technology in services. William, a person supported by Hft, also spoke about the positive difference that assistive technologies have made to the support that he receives.

Technology has allowed William to live independently

William, 22, from Bedfordshire shared his personal experience of how technology helped him to achieve his dream of living independently in the community. He uses a key fob to enter his home, which can be deactivated and replaced if lost, and has a lifeline phone and pendant alarm to use to call for help in the event of an emergency.

William, who has autism, said: “I feel safe and secure knowing I am only one button away from calling anyone at any time.”

The event also marked the official launch of Hft’s new Virtual Smarthouse. The online house showcases examples of assistive technology which different vulnerable groups can use around their home to improve their independence and quality of life, and increase their safety.

On the day, attendees were invited to pledge their support for the sector deal and had the opportunity to be involved in shaping what that would look like.

Robert Longley-Cook, Hft’s Chief Executive, said investment in the sector is desperately needed.

“As it stands, the learning disability sector accounts for around a third of adult social care spend in England and demand is growing rapidly as life expectancy increases. Despite increased demand, local authority expenditure has not kept up, leading to an anticipated funding gap of £5 billion by 2020.

“With the funding crisis affecting the sustainability of adult social care, the sector and the government must come together to successfully negotiate a learning disability Sector Deal.

“Assistive technology has a key part to play in bridging that gap.  Effective investment could transform the way support is delivered to people with learning disabilities and increase their independence, ultimately freeing up staff to focus on more meaningful support.

“We believe a Sector Deal will stimulate investment and innovation and ultimately deliver improved outcomes for the people supported by the sector.”

Gavin Bashar, UK & Ireland Managing Director of Tunstall Healthcare commented: “We support millions of people around the world, using technology as part of person-centred services to enable independence and freedom. However, not enough people with learning disabilities are currently benefitting from the advantages that assistive technology (also known as telecare) can bring.

“Assistive technology can make a positive difference to people with all kinds of disabilities, and in a variety of living environments. As well as managing risks, technology can aid communication, deliver greater privacy and dignity, and give people more control over the way they live their lives.

“Tunstall is proud to support the Sector Deal proposal, and its aim of delivering wide-ranging economic benefits and progressing towards a better future for people with learning disabilities in the UK.”

David Hancock elected vendor co-chair at INTEROPen

David Hancock

Reporter: Stuart Littleford

The healthcare executive advisor at founder-member InterSystems wants the standards organisation to persist with collaboration and focus on adoption

David Hancock has been elected to the new role of vendor co-chair at INTEROPen, the collaborative set up to accelerate the development of open standards to enable health and care systems to interoperate with each other.

The election of Hancock, healthcare executive advisor at InterSystems, comes at a critical time for INTEROPen, which has grown rapidly from eight founders three years ago to around 350 members today.

The organisation has played an important role in shifting the attention of policy makers and informaticians from developing programmes and deploying systems to making sure that they can share information with each other.

INTEROpen is now looking at evolving its membership model to support a stronger focus on the take-up and use of standards to support patient care and service transformation. “It is not enough to be able to define standards,” Hancock says. “But to move to the next level, the organisation needs to become vendor-driven, because the best way to make standards stick is to get them incorporated into vendor products. That is why INTEROPen made the decision to create a vendor co-chair and, for me, the role is all about driving adoption.”

Don Woodlock, vice president of HealthShare for InterSystems said: “We are proud of our continued association with this important collaboration and we are delighted that David Hancock will be taking it forward for the benefit of the NHS, the health tech community, and everybody who believes in effective, integrated care as the foundation for a system fit for the 21st century.”

Hancock has more than twenty years’ experience of working in the health tech industry, having held senior roles at Oracle Corporation and Orion Health before moving to InterSystems in July 2015. He has been a member of the techUK health and social care council for two years and represented the trade body on the INTEROPen board until it decided to create the vendor co-chair position.

Wiltshire Council takes a step into the future

Reporter: Stuart Littleford

Wiltshire Council has taken a significant step forward by welcoming the first of a team of virtual assistants (VAs) to its workforce. The VA team will complete high volume, repetitive but critical tasks to free up staff time so they can focus on activities that really make a difference to residents and the council.

The council is using ground-breaking robotic process automation (RPA) technology; cost effective software that enables manual, rule-based activities across multiple systems to be completed at the most efficient time for our residents and services. The first processes have already been automated, enabling teams to deliver their services in the most efficient and effective way.

The payroll team was the first to benefit from this new technology. Automating a time critical and labour-intensive process has given staff the space to focus on where they can add the best value, and has given the council the capacity and confidence to take on more payrolls to support its commercial agenda. Another 10 processes are due to go live in the coming months, with many more in the pipeline.

Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for IT and Digitalisation, told GPSJ: “This is a really exciting time and we have taken a huge step forward on our digital transformation journey.

“Leveraging technology is a key part of our strategy and will shape how we deliver our services in the future, in the most cost-effective and efficient way for Wiltshire residents.

“We are an innovative council, and we plan to capitalise on further technological advancements to deliver our business plan. Our staff have been enthusiastic in embracing these opportunities and are excited about the changes it will bring to the way they deliver services.’’

The council is working closely with Thoughtonomy and Microsoft to develop this automation and build in-house staff skills, so they can continue to automate further processes.

Phil Sheen, Head of Public Sector at Thoughtonomy, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Wiltshire Council, its members and staff to deliver the best services possible to residents, businesses and visitors to the county.

“Our strategic engagement with the Wiltshire team will see us continue to work closely with them over the coming year to develop their virtual assistant capability. This also provides a new range of digital skills which will be embedded in the council, and continues to demonstrate Wiltshire as a leading innovator in digital public services and citizen outcomes.”

This is a key part of Wiltshire Council’s digital programme, which will make it simpler, quicker and easier for residents to access and enable services, while delivering significant savings to the council.

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Cumbria sergeant recognised with prestigious Bravery Award

Sergeant Kevin Milby

A police officer who single-handedly tackled a man stood in the street covered in blood and armed with an axe has had his bravery commended with a prestigious award.

Sergeant Kevin Milby was last week named as the North West winner at the 24th national Police Bravery Awards, hosted by the

Continue reading Cumbria sergeant recognised with prestigious Bravery Award

Call for volunteers to supercharge our vibrant cultural and creative economy

L-R: Pictured at the Birmingham, Sandwell and Westside Jazz Festival are Cultural Leadership Board chair and Coventry City of Culture chief executive Martin Sutherland, Milda Stasaityte from jazz band The Schwings, Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street and Remigijus Rancys from The Schwings

Local people from all backgrounds and representatives from cultural organisations

Continue reading Call for volunteers to supercharge our vibrant cultural and creative economy

Free PCI DSS Compliance Guide Launched For Organisations That Handle Cardholder Information

A new free guide has been launched to help organisations that handle payment cardholder information. The jargon-free document explains the complexities of compliance to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and what can be done to protect customers, their data and an organisation’s reputation. Developed by contact centre and secure payment experts

Continue reading Free PCI DSS Compliance Guide Launched For Organisations That Handle Cardholder Information

Recite Me guide to help local authorities comply with new accessibility laws

Reporter: Stuart Littleford

Web accessibility and language software company Recite Me has created a guide to help public sector bodies including local authorities understand and comply with new public sector web accessibility regulations.

The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 came into force for UK public sector bodies in September

Continue reading Recite Me guide to help local authorities comply with new accessibility laws

Christchurch Group appoints Ruth Smith, Chief Operations Officer

Ruth Smith, Chief Operations Officer, Christchurch Group

Winner of Health Investor’s Best Complex Care Award 2018 Christchurch Group – the UK’s leading provider of award-winning clinically-led neurorehabilitation1 services designed to improve the function, reduce symptoms, and enhance the well-being of patients with acquired brain injury (ABI), spinal injury and other neurological conditions – has

Continue reading Christchurch Group appoints Ruth Smith, Chief Operations Officer

Public Sector Technology: Be Smart With WAN Data Acceleration

Graham Jarvis

By Graham Jarvis, Freelance Business and Technology Journalist

Early in 2019 Brian Chidester, Senior Industry Lead for Public Sector at OpenText, wrote about the trends that will affect the public sector this year. In his blog for the company, it stated that ‘2019 technology trends driving IT modernisation in the Public Sector’,

Continue reading Public Sector Technology: Be Smart With WAN Data Acceleration

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust to be self-made digital exemplar with UK-first Alcidion partnership

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust to be self-made digital exemplar with UK-first Alcidion partnership.

New partnership between Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust and Alcidion will help realise the trust’s ambition to be a self-made digital exemplar through industry-leading product suite and support.

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust is to enhance its digital maturity through a

Continue reading Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust to be self-made digital exemplar with UK-first Alcidion partnership



Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES Council) is extending its Videalert CCTV enforcement platform with the installation of additional cameras for an approved class C clean air zone (CAZ) that is expected to commence operation at the end of2020. This scheme gives exemptions to private cars but charges higher polluting buses, coaches,