A new landmark deal between NHS England and Microsoft marks a significant milestone in the digital transformation of healthcare services. The five-year agreement will provide NHS England’s 1.5 million doctors, nurses, clinicians and support staff with access to cutting-edge productivity tools, ensuring greater collaboration and maximising time for care.
The deal will enable all NHS organisations across England to utilise Microsoft 365 productivity tools, and include a comprehensive suite of Microsoft security solutions to ensure that the systems are secure. Microsoft Teams was first rolled out across the NHS in March 2020. Since then, it is estimated that NHS employees have saved more than 17 million hours of time.
Cost-effective efficiencies to improve care
John Quinn, Chief Information Officer at NHS England, said of the announcement: “This new five-year agreement will mean we can create a platform for innovation so that NHS workers always have the latest digital tools to help them focus on frontline care.
“We’ve seen huge benefits following our original agreement with Microsoft in 2020, whether using Microsoft Teams to make it quicker and easier to arrange meetings or other digital tools that mean more time can be spent supporting patients.
“As the NHS turns 75, this deal is part of a long history of the health service adapting to make use of the latest and greatest innovations available to deliver more productive and joined-up services for patients, and gives us a strong platform to build on for the future.”
Bringing the entire NHS buying power to the table has provided a wide-ranging commercial framework, providing eligible NHS organisations a valuable deal, and saving the health service millions of pounds annually. “This is a further great example of the NHS using our collective buying power to secure market-leading products at a reduced cost for taxpayers,” said Quinn.
Having been negotiated as one contract across the entire health service, rather than separate contracts across individual trusts, it will not only result in a substantial savings for the NHS, but also drive value for the U.K. economy.
Creating a platform for innovation
By forging a five-year partnership with Microsoft 365, NHS England is establishing the foundations that will enable healthcare organisations to leverage the latest technologies to drive innovation and develop faster, more effective clinical ways of working.
By harnessing AI technologies, the NHS will be able to develop novel applications enabled by Microsoft Teams. These apps will improve workplace processes, support better outcomes for patients and improve working life for busy NHS staff.
Protecting the NHS
In an era of ever-increasing cyberattacks, the agreement will enable NHS organisations to benefit from a comprehensive suite of Microsoft security solutions to protect their people, data and assets. This includes capabilities around threat protection, data governance and compliance that will strengthen the cyber-resilience of the NHS.
“As the NHS marks its 75th anniversary, Microsoft is delighted to be able provide modern workplace tools that will enable clinicians and support staff to focus on what matters most – caring for patients,” said Clare Barclay, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft UK. “This agreement will ensure that NHS organisations can accelerate their recovery from Covid-19, reform ways of working through collaboration tools and build resilience through a modern, secure, cloud-based infrastructure.”