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The decision to adopt Microsoft 365 is part of a country-wide focus on digital transformation. NHS Wales said staff including GPs, consultants, nurses, therapists, paramedics and support staff would be provided with Microsoft 365 to share information with colleagues and improve the delivery of healthcare to millions of patients.
The software includes Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint and Yammer, which will be made available to staff on multiple devices, such as phones, tablets and laptops.
The software could support video-based consultations and meetings, potentially saving the NHS money and time by reducing the need for staff to travel to face-to-face meetings, freeing them up to focus on patients who need the most help.
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.
Andrew Griffiths, NHS Wales
“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.”
Microsoft said the agreement also included an upgrade to Windows 10 E5, which features advanced threat protection to prevent, detect, investigate and respond to potential risks.
“It’s essential that NHS Wales has secure systems that health staff and patients trust, and this agreement will help achieve that,” said Griffiths. “It will increase resilience and mean our services are running on the most up-to-date operating system at all times.”
The NHS Wales contract comes just a few months after the Welsh government signed another major deal with Microsoft. In April, the Welsh government signed a contract to provide Microsoft Office ProPlus to teachers and pupils at 1,521 maintained schools in Wales.
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