The NHS is admired globally for its excellence in healthcare. However, it is not without its challenges. Attempting to address some of them is the NHS Ten-Year Plan, announced this January.
With an eye to the future, the plan is focused on bringing the NHS into the digital age. It is hoped that new, technology-based approaches to online GP booking, prescriptions management and the further deployment of Electronic Medical Records (EMR), will alleviate many of the pressures the NHS - and the patients it treats - have to endure on a daily basis.
As exciting and as promising as these far-ranging changes for reforming the NHS are, there’s one potential fly in the ointment – security. It wasn’t that long ago that vulnerabilities in the NHS’ IT were exposed when it become a victim of the WannaCry ransomware attack. Crippling NHS computers across the country, a subsequent report from the Department of Health found it cost the NHS £92m, and resulted in more than 19,000 appointments being cancelled.
For the NHS to move successfully into the digital age, security will be vital. It will have to protect EMRs in order to keep patient data safe, while also protecting endpoints like networked computers, laptops, tablets and printers from hackers or employees causing a security breach. Its security challenges are further compounded by the fact that Microsoft is ending free support for Windows 7 in January 2020; and that’s an operating system that’s near ubiquitous across the NHS.
Xeretec is able to help the NHS realise its digital ambitions in a secure and practical way, thanks to its Device as a Service (DaaS) offering. Its DaaS model enables healthcare organisations of all sizes to address the challenges posed by accidental or intentional security breaches, by providing access to the latest hardware and software solutions that are better able to protect against security threats. Importantly, DaaS presents an affordable and effortless way to upgrade to Windows 10 on the latest HP hardware technology. It also helps to unlock many of the new security and productivity features available on Windows 10, while mitigating many of the risks encountered by running old and unsupported software. Importantly, DaaS offers a cost per month per device model which enables NHS Trusts to adopt replacement client technology without impacting capital budgets.
Further helping the NHS to bolster security – and control costs - is Xeretec’s well-established Managed Print Service (MPS) offering. Complementing its DaaS offering, it enables organisations to better manage their print and Document Management processes to bring control and detailed insight to their print environment. By regularly assessing and evaluating a client’s MPS, Xeretec can ensure that documents flowing in, around and outside of an organisation are protected by the most advanced security solutions.
As a HP Platinum accredited partner, our solutions are available via CCS Frameworks, and also via Lot 2 and 4 on the National Education Printer Agreement framework for Managed Print. HP is on framework CCS RM3804 for Device as a Service and we’re their tried and trusted implementation partner for the framework. Additionally, we boast two decades of knowledge and expertise in the area of device and document security, having earned a fantastic reputation in the healthcare sector, with our solutions trusted by well-known health organisations.
One such example of a Trust that’s already benefitting from DaaS by Xeretec, is University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL). It is one of the largest NHS trusts in the UK, and it gives specialist care to patients across Leicestershire and beyond. It routinely treats over 750 patients a day in its A&E department alone.
Commenting on the benefits that UHL has enjoyed since deploying DaaS, is Andy Carruthers, Chief Technology Officer at UHL. He explained: “DaaS gave the Trust access to the latest technology, without the costs and depreciation of owning devices outright.”
Andy Carruthers, CTO at UHL explained: “Device as a Service allows us to smooth the finance over the years of the contract rather than having a spike in investment every time we need to refresh equipment across the Trust.”
Andy’s colleague, Jon Clarke, UHL’s Chief Information Officer, noted the convenience that DaaS offers the Trust: “The service package is really important for us. We know that if equipment is broken, we’re able to replace it or get repairs.”
With our solutions to hand, it’s time to feel optimistic about the NHS again, as it embarks on a digital – and secure – future that’s set to benefit both it and the healthcare of the nation.