Matt Hancock bans fax machines from the NHS

Written by Sam Trendall on 10 December 2018 in News
News

Trusts will no longer be allowed to purchase the technology from January

 

Health and social secretary Matt Hancock has banned fax machines across the NHS.

From January, health-service organisations will no longer be allowed to buy new fax machines. Over the following 15 months, NHS bodies will be assessed on a quarterly basis until they are found to be “fax-free”, the government said. The intention is that faxes will be eliminated from use entirely by 31 March 2020.

The use of “modern communication methods, such as secure email” will be mandatory from April. This, the government said, “will improve patient safety and cybersecurity”.

Meanwhile, open standards will be introduced across the NHS to ensure the interoperability of IT systems and digital services. Technology that does not meet these standards “will be phased out and the government will look to end contracts with providers who do not understand these principles for the health and care sector”.


Related content


The NHS-wide ban on fax machines comes in light of an ‘Axe the Fax’ campaign led by Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust. The trust, which previously operated several hundred of the machines, aims to eradicate almost all of them by the start of next year.

Richard Corbridge, chief digital and information officer at Leeds Teaching Hospital, said: “Turning off the fax is a step in the delivery of integrated care and a leap forward in putting healthcare information in the right hands every time it is needed.”

The NHS is often cited as the world’s biggest remaining user of fax machines, with about 8,000 still in operation across England, according to recent research from the Royal College of Surgeons. The study found that many trusts still have hundreds of the devices in use, with Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust leading the way with a fleet of more than 600 faxes.

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Digital is needed now more than ever
12 May 2020

PublicTechnology editor Sam Trendall salutes the outstanding efforts of public sector...

Government declines to set date for contact-tracing app
8 July 2020

Head of Test and Trace programme Baroness Harding says she does not want to specify a timeframe as projects often do not ‘run in a smooth way’

Gove believes Whitehall reform plans will not suffer because of close association with Cummings
7 July 2020

Cabinet Office minister said that, despite the controversy that often surrounds the PM’s top adviser, ‘people are interested in Dominic and his ideas’

Related Sponsored Articles

Interview: CyberArk EMEA chief on how government has become a security leader
29 May 2020

PublicTechnology talks to Rich Turner about why organisations need to adopt a ‘risk-based approach’ to security – but first make sure they get the basics right

Accelerating sustainability in the age of disruption
21 May 2020

HPE shows why organisations are increasingly seeking to understand and consider the environmental impacts of their IT purchasing decisions