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Smartcard sharing crackdown

By Laura Passi

The National Information Governance Board has urged managers to launch a renewed crackdown on smartcard sharing among NHS staff, calling for tough new sanctions for those who break the rules.

A position paper published by the board, drawn up after consultation with regulators and the Medical Protection Society, calls for NHS Connecting for Health to carry out a review to ensure that 'any work required to address technical issues leading to smartcard misuse is prioritised'.

But the board also called for those who break the rules to be punished, citing police force procedures which can result in the dismissal of staff who share logins or smartcards.

'The NIGB proposes that sanctions should be available for the sharing of smartcards where there is no or limited justification for doing so,' the paper concludes.

A Pulse investigation in 2008 revealed that smartcard sharing among NHS staff is widespread, with one in six GPs saying they were aware of card sharing in their area, and one in 20 admitting they had shared their own card.

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