Doctors and nurses are being told not to use Zoom for virtual appointments with patients during the coronavirus pandemic over security concerns.
NHS trusts responsible for more than 3 million patients and 12,000 employees have banned the video conferencing tool.
Staff who need to communicate with patients and families with patients at Central London Community Healthcare NHS trust, which covers services in London and Hertfordshire, have been warned that they must not use the platform over security concerns, and use an approved alternative, BlueJeans, instead.
“In light of alternative, secure tools being available to our staff, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust is not recommending the use of Zoom for patient video appointments,” a spokesman said.
“This is in line with recently published guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office and NHSX.
“The security of patient information and our responsibilities as a Data Controller are of paramount importance to the Trust, and we continue to review national guidance on this matter.”
A spokesman for London Northwest University trust, which is responsible for four hospitals and several clinics in the capital, said staff are forbidden from using Zoom and use bespoke Attend Anywhere video conferencing system.
As hospitals and healthcare specialists turned to technology to inhibit the spread of Covid-19, there have been concerns about their liability while talking about patient’s personal matters over apps.
However the NHS has advised “that in the current circumstances it would be more harmful not to share health and care information than to share it”.