Public confidence in the NHS is currently high, but with privacy awareness increasing significantly, there’s a risk that incidents could expose weaknesses in sovereignty, efficiency and data security.
UKCloud Health, the easy to adopt cloud services company and the Corsham Institute, a charity dedicated to research and learning to help people adapt and thrive in a digital world, today announced the findings from the latest Corsham Institute research report.
Researchers tested levels of public understanding of patient data storage options within the NHS and the public’s confidence or otherwise in the security of that data.
Storing patient data
The survey found that there are high levels of confidence in trust that the NHS is storing patient data securely: 70% of British adults say they are confident that the patient data the NHS holds on them is stored securely, while 25% say they are not confident.
Nevertheless, there are low levels of understanding as to how patient data is currently stored in the NHS, with half of the respondents thinking that patient data is stored on a national NHS computer server and only 28% thinking that it is stored on a cloud.
Furthermore, the survey respodents revealed their desire for more information on data storage in the NHS, with 88% of adults saying it’s important to know where and how their patient data is stored and 80% saying it is important to know whether patient data is hosted by companies whose headquarters are outside of the UK.
Louisa Simons, COO of the Corsham Institute, commented: “Patients have a limited understanding of how the NHS stores or processes data. Indeed, the public and healthcare professionals rightly focus more on patient experience and outcomes.
“Cloud computing has the potential to enhance collaboration, increase efficiency and improve security across the NHS. However, progress in migrating workloads to the cloud varies dramatically between different trusts and other bodies within the NHS.
“Many organisations are still reliant on the kind of fragmented and dated infrastructure that was impacted by the Wannacry attack and are also reliant on out-dated and inefficient technologies such as fax machines – which are surprisingly still in widespread use across the NHS.”
Social care records
Even before the Wannacry attack, a previous ComRes poll sponsored by UKCloud Health in early 2017 found that the British public was concerned about the protection of their personally identifiable data, and that 65% also stated that they were concerned about whether their health records, such as medical history or social care records, are adequately protected by companies and public services.
UKCloud Health also provides a range of multi-cloud options for optimal workload placement, providing a path for healthcare organisations wanting to the modernising legacy IT that was vulnerable to the Wannacry attack.
Written from press release by Leah Alger