An agreement struck between NHSX, NHS Digital, and Microsoft will save the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds and enable all eligible organisations in England to access Microsoft 365 digital tools. The agreement guarantees significant cost savings for both individual NHS organisations and the NHS as a whole. It will improve productivity, enhance collaboration, and strengthen cyber security across healthcare services.
As part of the agreement, Microsoft 365 will be deployed to as many as 1.2 million staff across NHS organisations, including Trusts, CCGs, and health Informatics Services, creating a truly joined-up NHS. Staff will be able to communicate more effectively and will have access to the information, applications and services they need, reducing the administrative burden on staff and improving patient safety.
It secures access to a variety of Microsoft applications, building on an agreement first announced in April 2018 that enabled NHS organisations to use Windows 10 to strengthen their defences against cyber attacks.
GPs, consultants, nurses, therapists, paramedics and support staff, will have access to services within Microsoft 365, ensuring they are able to use tools such as Microsoft Teams, which will enable staff to collaborate more effectively through instant messaging, audio, and video calls. Microsoft Teams has been used across many NHS organisations to collaborate, share information securely and support new ways of working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Announcing the deal, Matt Hancock, Secretary of State said: ‘Adopting the most up to date digital tools and operating systems are crucial for a modern day NHS allowing staff to work as efficiently as possible which will deliver even better care for patients. We have seen incredible, innovative uses of technology throughout the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic and this new deal with Microsoft will pave the way for that to continue by ensuring we get the basics right.’
Matthew Gould, CEO at NHSX, said: ‘This deal ensures that the NHS will get the best possible value for taxpayers, and is good news for our staff and patients. This deal with Microsoft represents a saving of hundreds of millions of pounds. This is a direct result of negotiations led jointly by NHSX and NHS Digital. It means staff will have access to the best possible collaboration and productivity tools, and that our cyber defences are as strong as possible.’
Sarah Wilkinson, CEO at NHS Digital, said: ‘I’m delighted that we have been able to conclude these negotiations with Microsoft successfully. This deal will allow the NHS to derive productivity and collaboration benefits from the use of numerous Microsoft products and will strengthen cyber security across the system. I would also like to thank Microsoft for allowing NHS Digital to deploy numerous licences at no cost in recent months in response to the pandemic. They have been a superb partner throughout this crisis and we look forward to extending this partnership in the years ahead.’
Cindy Rose, CEO at Microsoft UK, said: ‘Microsoft is proud to support the NHS any way we can, especially in these challenging times. Since COVID-19, the NHS has rapidly accelerated its adoption of digital tools to enable clinicians and support staff to perform their life-saving work more effectively. This agreement ensures NHS organisations across England have access to modern productivity tools and solutions necessary to delivering better patient outcomes now and in the future.’
The timing of the agreement coincides with the licence renewal period of a number of NHS organisations in England. It also ensures that those NHS organisations that have already made their own arrangements with Microsoft benefit from the deal and the significant cost savings on offer. Local NHS organisations will access the savings via their existing agreements, receiving additional discounts on the products included within the scope of this agreement.
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