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NHS IT wins two international awards for excellence

11 September 2015: An NHS IT system has been recognised for excellence at a global IT event, with the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) scooping two international awards at the iCMG World Summit.

The Care Identity Service (CIS), a system which securely allows access to NHS systems for 900,000 staff, won a global excellence award for enterprise and IT architecture in health care.

The leader behind CIS, Rob Shaw, was also named as European Chief Information Officer of the Year. This was in recognition of both this project and the successful delivery of other major NHS IT systems, which have saved the NHS tens of millions of pounds every year.

CIS manages digital identities for those who need access to the NHS's national IT service, Spine, to support patient care. Spine is the technological backbone of the NHS and all healthcare workers need secure and appropriate levels of access to the system.

The service uses smartcard technology to ensure that those who access NHS information do so in a secure way that only allows them to see the information they need to do their job and to deliver an individual's care.

CIS was launched earlier this year and has been delivered with the support of an external development partner, Mastek.

There are 900,000+ Smartcards in use and 250,000 people connect to Spine daily, making CIS one of the world's largest secure identity services.

Rob Shaw, Director of Information and Assurance at HSCIC was named as European Chief Information Officer of the Year at the summit. This not only recognised his leadership for the CIS project, but also a successful project to bring the entire Spine system in-house to the HSCIC last year.

Spine 2 has saved £21m for the NHS in its first year of operation and handles around 1800 transactions every second. In addition system response times have reduced by almost 90 per cent this year, meaning 750 hours in total are being saved across the NHS in England every single day.

Rob Shaw, Director of Information and Assurance at HSCIC says: "It's fantastic news that NHS IT systems have been recognised globally.  IT infrastructure is like the pipes that supply your water, or the cables that provide your electricity. Without it, we would be living and working in a very different way.

"Much of the work goes unnoticed and in many ways that's a good thing as we want the users of those services to be able to focus on direct patient care. But it is particularly pleasing to get this award for CIS, which is so important for patient safety; verifying the identity of authorised professionals; for access to important patient information; and for access to the many transactions that vital to the day-to-day running of the NHS.

"Personally, I am also delighted with my award but it is dedicated to everyone who has worked to make Spine, CIS and the Secondary Uses' Service a success. These systems are crucial to the success of the NHS, and whilst we want them to run so smoothly that frontline staff take them for granted, it is still important that their success is recognised."

ENDS


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 260 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. For media queries or interview requests please contact media@hscic.gov.uk or telephone 0300 30 33 888.

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