As a valued client of Positive Solutions, we would like to draw your attention to the following important information:

  • Microsoft will no longer be providing free support for Windows7 from 14th January 2020. However, they will provide critical and important security updates. That said, your PMR system is still at risk from viruses and other running problems.
  • PSNC is recommending that all pharmacies plan to move away from Windows7. The NHS Digital Warranted Environment Specification (WES) sets out technical standards for systems which make use of NHS Spine and Smartcard service. The WES highlights the need to ensure all pharmacy systems have the necessary security protection and support in place. However, it is important to note that alignment with WES is not included within the current Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQC) but might return in future PQC
  • Should you choose to continue operating your business with a non-supported system, you will need to consider precautionary measures to protect your Analyst PMR and other pharmacy IT systems.

To ensure continued NHS interoperability without any downtime to customers, Positive Solutions has already prepared Analyst PMR for Windows10.

For your pharmacy to become fully compliant with the NHS Warranted environment, we’d recommend that you consider deploying a new Windows10 platform. To discuss this option, please contact your PSL Account Manager or call our Sales Desk on 01257 235910

Should you decide to purchase an extended service pack if you wish to remain on Windows7, you’ll need to buy that from whoever provided your Windows7 licence. The cost of this is to be confirmed by Microsoft by November 30th but we believe it will be £50 for year one, £100 for year 2 and £150 for year 3.

The use of unsupported products should be avoided where reasonably possible but If you do decide not to upgrade your hardware to the new Windows10 platform before the January 2020 deadline, you’ll need to take additional IT security precautions.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has advised of the following risks to your pharmacy operations, should you continue to operate using Windows7:

  • Reduced resistance to malware which can spread much more easily. This can be mitigated by ensuring your ESET antivirus is always kept up to date
  • Known vulnerabilities remain un-patched without security updates. However Microsoft will continue to provide ‘Quality of Life’ updates for Windows7
  • Systems become easier targets for hackers. Again this can be mitigated by keepin your anti-virus software up to date, restricting access to your systems to key operational staff only, using Google Chrome or Firefox as a browser and NOT Internet Explorer and finally ensuring that staff do not open any unauthorised links or attachements

For your further information, please find attached PSNC Briefing Ten steps to help improve data and cyber security within your pharmacy.

You will also find this document useful “Community Pharmacy IT Group (CP ITG) briefing: Preparing for Windows7 and Windows10 transition” which is available on the PSNC website.

We look forward to providing you with our latest technology and innovative systems and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued custom.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Positive Solutions on 01257 235910.