NHS Wales has signed a new enterprise deal with Microsoft that will strengthen defences against cyber-attacks and give over 100,000 NHS Wales staff access to Office 365.
The move offers NHS Wales’ organisations the robust, modern tools and capabilities needed to enable new ways of working and better collaboration.
GPs, consultants, nurses, therapists, paramedics and support staff, will all be able to communicate and securely share information more easily within the NHS and the wider public sector in Wales using Office 365.
Andrew Griffiths, Director, 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. So 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.”
Office 365 supports mobile working across multiple devices, such as phones, tablets and laptops, opening up opportunities for collaboration without the need to travel and the potential for new approaches to triage and consultations through integrated media and video conferencing.
To further strengthen cyber resilience the deal includes an upgrade to Windows 10 E5, Microsoft’s operating system with the latest security features, such as Advanced Threat Protection, that guard against the ever-changing panorama of cyber threats.
Andrew Griffiths commented: “It’s essential that NHS Wales has secure systems that health staff and patients trust and this agreement will help achieve that. It will increase resilience and mean our services are running on the most up to date operating system at all times.”
Minister for health and social services, Vaughan Gething said:
“I am very pleased this new deal has been agreed. It will ensure healthcare professionals across Wales will have greater access to secure technology and collaboration tools allowing them to communicate securely and easily and strengthening our resilience to cyber threats.
“Utilising technology to improve the way we deliver health and social services is a key part of our long-term vision for NHS Wales set-out in A Healthier Wales and will support frontline staff in providing the best possible care to patients”
The £39 million agreement with Microsoft runs for three years. NHS Wales’ previous enterprise agreement with Microsoft ends on 30 June 2019. Roll out of the new Office 365 service begins on 1 July, 2019.
The agreement between Microsoft and NHS Wales was brokered via Trustmarque, the NHS Wales Microsoft licensing partner.