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

Election 2019: Which party has most to say on digital, data and technology?
10 December 2019

Examining the language of each party’s manifesto reveals significant differences in the amount and focus of proposals related to technology and data policy – as well as in the wider themes of each...

Conservative manifesto: five tech takeaways
9 December 2019

Rounding up the Tories’ key pledges in the area of digital and data, including a new cybercrime force and tax incentives for investments in cloud computing

Related Sponsored Articles

Three best-practice measures in the event of a data breach
3 December 2019

To have the best chance of an effective response and a full recovery, organisations should have a robust incident response strategy in place, says BT 

How to take control of your network
26 November 2019

We hear from BT about why delivering a great customer experience depends on your network visibility 

The future of voice: how to successfully transform your legacy voice estate
19 November 2019

Organisations are increasingly having to replace their legacy voice infrastructure as traditional analogue and ISDN lines are being phased out. BT talk about how they can help the transition...

Case Study: Cryptocurrency, connectivity and the cloud
12 November 2019

BT presents findings from cryptocurrency firm Gemini on how they're providing customers with direct connectivity thanks to the Radianz network