The NHS is spending thousands of pounds every day on potentially unnecessary IT hardware, new research has found.
Trusts across the UK are buying 243 new computers and laptops a day, spending more than £150,000 daily, according to a report from memory and storage firm Crucial.
The company sent out a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to 235 NHS Trusts in England, with 197 replying.
Those that replied, said that since 2013, they have ditched 237,422 laptops and computers. At the same time, they bought 401,084 new computers, each costing £650 on average.
Crucial also analysed if these purchases help healthcare professionals do their jobs better and came to the conclusion that it doesn’t, actually. More than two fifths (42 per cent) of respondents say IT hinders them from doing their job. They spend too much time fixing everyone’s (including their own) IT issues. A quarter (27 per cent) is embarrassed to admit they don’t know how to do something tech-based, and 5 per cent don’t know how to send an email.
A fifth (21 per cent) don’t know how to scan a computer for viruses.
“The NHS is clearly investing in new hardware, spending £260m since 2013 on new PCs, many of these presumably replacing the 219,000 PCs disposed of during the same period. 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,” said Jim Jardine, director of DRAM product marketing at Crucial.
“Our study also highlighted the lack of knowledge doing simple tasks like scan for viruses, but with a bit of training, healthcare staff would feel a lot more confident and can make the most of the NHS’s IT investment.”
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