National platform to improve security and support collaboration.
A significant investment will see a new single digital platform installed across all NHS boards, improving efficiency and making it easier for staff to work together.
The potential £80 million investment over five years will mean that all 161,000 NHS employees will have access to upgraded Microsoft Office desktop products, helping to further increase robustness against cyber threats, and improving the security of patient data.
The change will mean staff can work together more effectively, including having access to shared calendars, video meetings, a single email system and centralised access to documents. Improvements in efficiency will allow staff to spend more time on treating and caring for patients.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
“In Scotland, we are on a journey to fundamentally reshape the way our staff work together. We're creating the environment and the tools to allow staff and services to flourish.
“By consolidating hundreds of separate systems across Scotland’s NHS and care services, we can ensure that our hard-working staff are able to focus more on patients than processes. At the same time, we have a duty to protect people's information safely and securely. Crucially, this investment will make our systems more resilient and give further protection against cyber threats.”
Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft UK said:
“NHS Scotland staff do incredible work each and every day, however cross-department collaboration can be challenging due to the use of multiple systems. By moving to one common platform in Office 365, staff will have the best tools available to work together seamlessly, ensuring they’re able to focus on what counts most – helping patients.”
“Furthermore, by moving to Windows 10 E5, NHS Scotland can be confident that its systems are running on the most up-to-date software at all times. As a result, the organisation will have a real-time view of any potential cyber threats and can therefore minimise the impact of any cyber-attack across the entire organisation.”
In April the Scottish Government and COSLA published a Digital Health & Care Strategy, which contained a strategic commitment to support the workforce by “providing productivity and collaboration services and tools, such as shared calendars, email, video and instant messaging, to support effective, efficient and secure ways for working across organisational boundaries.”
By partnering with Microsoft at a national level, all health systems will be accessed through Windows 10 operating system and the entire NHS workforce upgraded to use Microsoft Office 365 appropriate to their work.