27 August 2003
West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service (WYMAS) has become the first NHS Trust to achieve the recognised standard for Information Security, BS 7799. This will ensure both the protection and integrity of patient information.
The coveted BSI registration confirms that the service is committed to protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information across the Trust.
Director of technical services, Steve Jackson, is thrilled with the achievement, he said: "It shows that WYMAS is leading the way in NHS information security and recognises the value of data-protection.
"This award means patients and staff can be confident that information is protected and secure and that systems are properly backed up.
"The ICT (Information Computer Technology) team has worked extremely hard over the past year to gain this recognition. The team should feel extremely proud that their commitment has helped the Trust to set an example to other organisations."
ICT systems across WYMAS and NHS Professionals were put under the microscope, including some 1,000-computer terminals storing information from payroll details to patient records and more than 2,000 e-mail addresses.
The BS 7799 requires that the Trust's 27-strong ICT team to produce detailed documentation of information security management systems, carry out a security audit and put their ICT 'Disaster Recovery Plan' to the test.
Helping to consult on the mammoth task was Stuart Hirst of West Yorkshire based Computer Company Holden Informatics.
He said: "Gaining BSI registration is not just about achieving a set of standards it requires changes to working practice's and ensuring those changes are part of the daily fabric of the Trust. It's about staff being more aware of the information they are handling and doing their utmost to ensure that information is secure."
Neil Hannah, managing director of BSI Management Systems (EMEA) explained:
"Achieving BS 7799 requires a great deal of work. It is clear that the WYMAS management team have shown their commitment to not only acquiring, but also maintaining the Information Security Management Systems."
For more information please contact:
Jo Thorne at WYMAS Press Office on 01924 836744
Wilma Tulloch on +44 (0)20 8996 6330 OR
Marc Edney on +44 (0)20 8996 6330