|Michael Co-sponsors Bill to save NHS over £1bn per year
Michael Talking to Health Secretary Matt Hancock
Fax machines and pagers in NHS hospitals and other bodies could be banned under new legislation.
The National Health Service (Prohibition of Fax Machines and Pagers) Bill was introduced on Tuesday 26 February by Alan Mak MP and co-sponsored Michael Tomlinson in the House of Commons. This could save over £1bn per year.
If passed, it would put into law the Government’s commitment that was outlined in the recent NHS Long Term Plan to digitalise the NHS. The use of ageing technology such as fax machines and pagers cost the NHS millions of pounds, and the new legislation would ensure NHS Trusts and quangos would be banned from using fax machines and pagers by 2021.
It comes after statistics revealed in July that more than 8,000 fax machines are still being used by the NHS in England. Meanwhile in a report published last year for the think-tank Centre for Policy Studies, Mr Mak outlined how the NHS accounted for more than 10% of all pagers in circulation worldwide – with more than 100,000 still in use across hospitals.
By replacing the pager, it is estimated that the NHS could thousands of hours of staff time and over £1bn per year. Trials using a digital, WhatsApp style replacement for the pager called Medic Bleep at West Suffolk Hospital saved nurses more than 20 minutes per shift, and doctors more than 50 minutes.