NHS Connecting for Health is telling trusts to start planning for the expiration of the health service’s Enterprise wide Agreement with computer security software supplier, McAfee.

In a document sent out by CfH, and seen by E-Health Insider, trusts are being warned that the national contract that was signed with McAfee in 2008 is unlikely to be renewed.

The document states: “NHS organisations should plan on the basis that the McAfee EwA will not be renewed post 31 March 2011, with existing licences being transferred to local organisations for their ongoing use.”

The McAfee contract was signed in a response to a request by NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson for tighter information governance and data transfer arrangements following the loss of two unencrypted computer disks by HMRC.

Under the contract, McAfee provided 700,000 free licences for device encryption, port control, secure content encryption, and mobile encryption to NHS organisations across England.

The software, known as Safeboot, has since been used to protect data on all devices such as PCs, laptops, PDAs and smart phones, on hard drives and removable media, and computer ports to prevent unauthorised use of portable media connected to USB, serial and parallel ports.

The news comes as other Enterprise wide Agreements with the NHS expire and are not renewed.

In July, EHI reported that the Department of Health would not renew Microsoft’s 12-year EwA, which was worth around £500m.

Instead, licences currently owned by CfH on behalf of the NHS will be transferred to local NHS organisations for ongoing management.

Last week, it was revealed that a similar procedure will be followed with the end of the Novell EwA, which expires at the end of October. However, CfH has said that Oracle’s EwA is still in place and is due to expire in 2013.