NHS Trusts spend £150,000 per day on new PCs

FoI: NHS trusts have dumped 240,000 devices since 2013

legacy IT

NHS trusts are spending 158,038 every day on 243 new hardware devices, according to data from Freedom of Information requests.

The data, compiled from 197 NHS trust responses to FoIs, shows that since the start of 2013 these trusts have got rid of 237,422 laptops and computers, equivalent to 144 per day. In this same period, the total money spent on new PCs was more than 260 million on 401,084 new PCs, at an average cost of 650.

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Memory and storage firm Crucial conducted the FoIs, as well as a study of 2,000 healthcare professionals that found 42% of them blame IT for making their jobs more difficult, often spending too much time fixing others' IT issues as well as their own.

More than a quarter of the survey respondents were embarrassed to admit they lack technology skills, while 5% admitted not knowing how to send an email. One-fifth  said they did not know how to scan their PC for viruses.

"The NHS is clearly investing in new hardware, spending 260 million since 2013 on new PCs, many of these presumably replacing the 237,422 PCs disposed of during the same period," said Jim Jardine, a director of DRAM product marketing for Crucial. "But despite this spend, it's clear that more training or IT support in using these new systems is needed to help give healthcare workers the means of being productive."

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The news follows last week's announcement that the NHS will get 21 million to boost their cyber defences following the WannaCry ransomware attack. The money is to be spent on increasing cyber security measures at major hospitals and boosting NHS Digital's national monitoring and response capabilities.

Additionally, it prioritised migrating NHS systems from Windows XP, the Microsoft operating system that expired three years ago. A number of trusts were expecting to migrate from Windows XP by March 2015, but many were still running XP in December 2016, blaming government austerity measures and the impact of Brexit on IT prices.

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