Action required: Fax messages received by incorrect recipient

Action required: Fax messages received by incorrect recipient

February 4, 2019

NHS England’s Corporate Information Governance team has been notified by a hotel group that a number of faxes appear to have been inadvertently sent to them over the past weeks by GP practices and community pharmacies. The items faxed through have been sent from providers across the country and contain dispensing tokens, certificates and requests for medication. It is therefore likely that the fax numbers in question are very similar to a fax number being used within the healthcare system.

In this specific case the fax numbers that were receiving details inappropriately are: 08444119 012 and 01564 793 558. Pharmacy teams should check that they are not using these numbers as they are not part of the healthcare system. Any breaches of information governance security should be reported so that the incident can be investigated and learning shared where necessary.

NHS England has advised that community pharmacy teams:

  • only use fax where no other communication method is available;
  • before sending a fax, confirm with the recipient that the number is correct; and
  • after sending a fax, confirm with the recipient that they have correctly received your transmission.

It is also important that any changes in a pharmacy’s contact details are shared with relevant healthcare contacts to ensure that information is not sent to out-of-date or out-of-service numbers.

PSNC has published Briefing 053/17: Ten steps to help improve data and cyber security within your pharmacy which contains best practice guidance on processing or communicating sensitive information.

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