Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has announced that it will use a trust-wide external email encryption system from technology infrastructure company, ANS Group.

Dave Walliker, head of informatics at the trust, told E-Health Insider the key driver behind the deployment was the trust’s need to liaise with and pass information between various organisations.

He said: “Sensitive information is being required between NHS and social care partners on a more and more frequent basis. In addition, a high proportion of service users are asking for information to be sent to their email rather than by post.

“As part of our commitment to ensure the security of data leaving the trust, this system addresses the primary risk of data transfer.”

The trust has already started making the solution available to 2,500 staff and intends to have it fully rolled-out by January 2010.

“The recipient receives the encrypted mail in the form of an attachment that is opened with their log-in credentials. The system works across all platforms and is user friendly," Walliker added.

"Additional TLS [transport layer security] encryption is also configured between partner organisations on N3 that enable gateway to gateway encryption without any change to the end user."

The trust said it chose ANS Group because it designed its original data network when the informatics department was formed in 2004. The trust uses Microsoft Exchange 2007 for email.

The trust purchased the solution from the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency after Cisco initially arranged for it to be trialled. The contract is worth £40,000 and will provide the licences for three years.

Paul Sweeney, managing director of ANS Group, said: “Having previously worked with Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, we are delighted to be aiding this important development.”

Links: ANS Group