Wales gives all NHS staff access to Microsoft 365

All public sector health workers in Wales are to be given access to Microsoft programs, such as Outlook and Teams, as part of a country-wide focus on digital transformation.

More than 100,000 NHS employees, including GPs, consultants, nurses, therapists, paramedics and support staff, can now use Microsoft 365 to find new ways of securely sharing information with colleagues and improve how they deliver healthcare to millions of patients.

Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint and Yammer will be available to staff on multiple devices, such as phones, tablets and laptops, opening up the possibility of consultations and meetings being held quickly and easily via video conferencing. The move is expected to help NHS staff save money and time by not having to travel to face-to-face meetings, freeing them up to focus on patients who need the most help.

The agreement also includes an upgrade to Windows 10 E5, which includes cutting-edge security features, such as Advanced Threat Protection to prevent, detect, investigate and respond to potential risks.

Andrew Griffiths, director of NHS Wales Informatics Service, said: “This new national agreement is part of our commitment to refresh NHS Wales IT infrastructure and ensure it supports the transformational changes taking place across health and social care. It moves our digital estate away from locally managed services and into cloud-based services, delivering efficiencies and economies of scale.

“Frontline staff who work in our health and care services rely on technology, to help them deliver services in new, innovative ways that put the needs of patients first. I am very pleased that we are able to deliver the most up to date tools to our NHS Wales staff to help them with the fantastic work they do every day.”

The Welsh Government has already paid for all 1,521 ‘maintained’ schools to have access to programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, in a bid to boost the use of technology among pupils and reduce costs for families and headteachers.

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