The NHS Information Authority has embarked on a mission to explain the international standard on information security management, ISO 17799, and win support for its implementation as a key part of information governance.

Seminars will be held around the country until March for chief executives and other senior managers to introduce the standard which addresses confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.

Tom Lillywhite, the NHSIA’s security risk manager, said, “We hope the seminars will provide an understanding of the background nature and purpose of ISO 17799 and underpin the importance of protecting sensitive NHS information, in all its forms.”

He said the NHS had always processed information at ISO 17799 standards. An initiative from the government to introduce the standard’s use in all departments provided an opportunity to formalise its use in the health service.

With more and more patient-related, clinical and administrative information held and processed, there is a growing need within the NHS to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.

Mr Lillywhite said the commitment and input of CEOs and senior managers was critical to the success of the implementation. He hoped that the seminars would also demonstrate the benefits of ISO 17799.

Details of the seminars’ venues and dates are available on the NHSIA website.