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Information security in the NHS


Document management and control is strictly regulated under the Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act. Due to the very nature of the service that the NHS provides, large volumes of patient records ranging from one page to thousands need to be securely dealt with. 

Therefore the risk management and secure assurance is paramount to be able to control the use, storage and crucial secure disposal of these records. Furthermore to this, the hospital environment creates additional security challenges with large volumes of patients, staff and visitors passing through each day. It is also vital to have the right secure container available for staff use from the daily treatment centres to operating theatres, departmental administrative offices and the large volume records storage facilities. Therefore having a forceful, flexible and secure destruction solution is essential in providing a service to the NHS sector. 

In order to achieve the highest quality assurance and industry best practice 

1. they must set the standards for this service by adhering to BSEN15713. 

2. Enlist a company who works to these standards, and have them included within their quality management system such as ISO 9001 (UKAS approved) to ensure that the standards are checked and maintained. 

3. Make necessary checks on their service provider to ensure it is a reputable company registered with Company’s House  for financial stability, and can provide copies of insurance certificates for Employers & Public & Professional Indemnity cover, Environment Agency - for waste carriers licences and permits, VOSA for vehicle operating licence, confirmation of staff vetting to BS7858, and has membership to a reputable industry specific association such as the BSIA Information Destruction Section, providing guidance, vetting of members and customer assurance.

“Two big advantages we have found in using a BSIA approved member; firstly they offer a completely integrated 'one-stop' service with small secure containers to large lockable roro bins with on-site and offsite shredding solutions. Secondly providing a secure and flexible collection service with vetted staff and quality control systems, giving customer peace of mind and quality assurance.”

Source: BSIA

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