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NHS Scotland to strengthen cyber resilience with new Microsoft partnership

NHS Scotland has signed a new agreement with Microsoft to deploy Office 365 and migrate all systems to Windows 10 E5 during the next three years in an effort to boost cyber resilience and mitigate any potential threats.

"We're creating the environment and the tools to allow staff and services to flourish. At the moment they are too often hampered by systems that don't join up or make collaboration easy,” said Jeane Freeman, who was appointed as Scotland’s Health Secretary in June this year.

Freeman explained this included the development of a new national digital platform and setting out “common standards and approaches for healthcare systems”. HITN sister publication MobiHealthNews reported in August that Dr Alistair Hann, former Skyscanner Chief Technology Officer, had joined the NHS Digital Service, based within the national health board NHS Education for Scotland, to help build the new platform, working with Geoff Huggins, Director of the NES Digital Service, and Liz Elliot, former Chief Operating Officer at the Health Data Research UK institute.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Huggins told HITN:

"We're building a joined-up health and social care system, based on a National Digital Platform, so that people can get the best care, regardless of where they are. Moving to 365 is a fundamental building-block in that process."

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Social Care agreed a centralised deal with Microsoft, enabling all NHS organisations to use Windows 10 and strengthen their cyber defence capabilities, nearly a year after the WannaCry attack disrupted operations at around one-third of NHS hospital trusts in England and 603 primary care and other NHS organisations.

NHS Scotland has the option to extend its three-year agreement with Microsoft for a further 24 months under similar terms.

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