All NHS staff in England will have access to the latest digital tools as part of ongoing efforts to increase efficiency and boost productivity in the health service.
A deal negotiated by NHS England will mean all NHS workers, including doctors, nurses, clinicians, and support staff, can benefit from the full suite of Microsoft 365 workplace productivity apps, making collaboration easier and maximising time for care.
In the past, each local organisation would be responsible for purchasing their own licences for software.
But, by using a single national contract, the NHS is taking advantage of its collective purchasing power to save millions of pounds, as well as ensuring organisations are all working on the same systems.
The new five-year agreement, which has been awarded to Bytes, includes access to Microsoft products and will also provide the opportunity to introduce further innovative tools from other suppliers in the future.
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
Since the first national deal in March 2020 made the Microsoft Teams app available to all NHS staff, users have saved more than 17 million hours of time by using it for virtual meetings, where meeting in person is not necessary.
John Quinn, chief information officer at NHS England, said: “This new 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.
“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, and our contract with Bytes means we can also explore opportunities to introduce new innovative technology over the coming years.”
This agreement will ensure that NHS organisations can deliver efficiency, reform ways of working through collaboration tools and build resilience through a modern, secure cloud-based infrastructure
The agreement will mean NHS organisations can benefit from a comprehensive suite of Microsoft security solutions. This includes capabilities around threat protection, data governance, and compliance that will strengthen the cyber resilience of the NHS.
Clare Barclay, chief executive at Microsoft UK, said: “Microsoft is delighted to provide technology that will enable clinicians and support staff to focus on what matters most – caring for patients.
“This agreement will ensure that NHS organisations can deliver efficiency, reform ways of working through collaboration tools and build resilience through a modern, secure cloud-based infrastructure.”
Jack Watson, managing director of Bytes, added: “Bytes is delighted to strengthen its longstanding relationship with the NHS by accelerating their secure adoption of Microsoft cloud services that provide a platform for future innovation in healthcare.
“This five-year contract highlights the breadth and depth of skills Bytes bring in managing, advising, and supporting the NHS to utilise secure cloud platforms, analytics, and apps.”