Herefordshire & Worcestershire LPC

Warranted Environment Specification (WES)

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USEFUL DOCUMENTS

NHS QP Guidance (WES page 21)

PSNC Cyber Security Tips

USEFUL LINKS

NHS Digital

Cyber and Data Security

To be eligible to collect the points necessary to claim Quality Payments, community pharmacy contractors must meet five gateway criteria, one of which is that on the day of the review:

‘The contractor must have consulted the NHS Digital Warranted Environment Specification (WES) and/or their System Supplier(s) and have reassured themselves, and can demonstrate, that all their operating system and browser versions currently in use in their pharmacy to link to NHS Digital systems, such as the Electronic Prescription Service and Summary Care Record, comply with the WES; and are therefore supported by NHS Digital for connectivity to NHS Spine systems.’

Computer systems which access NHS Digital services through the Spine (which require a Smartcard) have to meet certain technical standards. The Warranted Environment Specification (WES) defines the systems that NHS Digital supports.

This is a new gateway criterion for the February 2019 review point. (source: PSNC)


Frequently Asked Questions and Additional Support


  • What is WES?
  • What are the WES compliant operating systems and browser versions?
  • How can I check which operating system and browser version I’m using?
  • How is the WES criterion validated?
  • If I launch the Summary Care Record (SCR) portal, will that be sufficient to meet the WES criterion?
  • More FAQs
What is WES?

The Warranted Environment Specification (WES) defines the versions of software required to be installed on user systems in order that they are supported by NHS Digital to access NHS Spine systems and applications requiring a Smartcard.

This criterion has been introduced to improve cyber security by ensuring that computer systems which access NHS Digital services through the Spine meet certain technical standards for operating systems and browsers and are therefore supported by NHS Digital. Operating systems and browsers that do not meet these standards have been identified as a major threat to the cyber security of NHS Digital systems.

source: PSNC

What are the WES compliant operating systems and browser versions?

The operating systems listed in the current WES, and are therefore compliant are:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows 7 SP1 32-bit / 64-bit
  • Windows 8.1 32-bit / 64-bit
  • Windows 10 64-bit

The browser versions listed in the current WES, and are therefore compliant are:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 11
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox

Contractors are required to confirm that the operating systems and browser versions that they are using when accessing the NHS Spine at any time conform to the WES requirements, and if not, work with their system suppliers to update to one listed above by the 15th February 2019 review date.

source: PSNC

How can I check which operating system and browser version I’m using?

Contractors can check that all the operating system and browser versions currently in use in their pharmacy that link to NHS Digital systems, such as the Electronic Prescription Service and SCR comply with the WES by accessing  https://www.whatsmybrowser.org/.  You can then check that the operating system and browser version being used is acceptable in the current WES.

Please note, contractors should access this website on all computer systems in the pharmacy which link to NHS Digital Systems to check that all systems comply with the WES.

A list of acceptable operating systems and browser versions are listed on page 21 in the NHS England Quality Payments guidance for the February 2019 review point.

source: PSNC

How is the WES criterion validated?

NHS Digital will validate this criterion when a pharmacy accesses the NHS Spine through connection to the Summary Care Record (SCR) and so pharmacies must log-in to the SCR system at least once prior to the review date between 14th November 2018 and 15th February 2019.

For information ahead of the declaration window, NHS Digital will provide details of which contractors have been assessed as complying with the WES to enable contractors to take appropriate action. This will be sent out to each pharmacy contractor’s shared NHSmail account out in early 2019 and will detail whether the contractor has met this gateway criterion or not from the information available at that time.

Contractors that have been assessed as not meeting this gateway criterion will get regular updates on this assessment until the end of the declaration window or until they have been validated as meeting the WES. Contractors who have been confirmed as meeting the WES requirements will not receive repeated emails confirming compliance, but they should keep the original email as evidence of compliance.

source: PSNC

If I launch the Summary Care Record (SCR) portal, will that be sufficient to meet the WES criterion?

No. In order to assess whether or not the contractor meets the WES criterion, contractors need to access the SCR portal. Contractors do not need to access an individual patient’s SCR for their pharmacy to be assessed; contractors just need to open the ‘Find a patient’ screen.

This will allow NHS Digital to capture the pharmacy’s operating and browser details; NHSBSA can then use this data to assess whether the pharmacy has met the WES gateway criterion and inform contractors of their compliance status.  NHSBSA will send an email to each contractor’s shared premises NHSmail account, which will detail whether NHS Digital has been able to validate the pharmacy as meeting the WES gateway criterion.

source: PSNC


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