The Anonymous Widower

NHS Is Still Reliant On Fax Machines

The title of this post as the same as that of an article in The Times last week.

This is the first paragraph.

Hospitals are still using 9,000 fax machines according to a survey that highlights the NHS’s with modern technology.

Other points from the article.

  • The survey was done by the Royal College of Surgeons
  • Newcastle on Tyne NHS Foundation trust had 603 machines.
  • Barts Health uses 369 faxes.
  • Only ten trusts said they didn’t own any faxes.

Coupled with another report last year, which showed that NHS hospitals still use an estimated 130,000 pagers, it surely shows the NHS is stuck in the past, as far as communications are concerned.

But this is not all!

A friend told me, he is trying to analyse the computer network of a trust, that stretches across three English counties.

These days, computers and complicated equipment usually have an address on the network, which in most organisations follow a logical pattern controlled by a sensible comprehensive specification.

But the NHS does things differently, with each county relying on one person in their area to create idividual node names.

How much could the NHS save, if they sorted out their communications and computing?


July 16, 2018 - Posted by | Computing, Health |


  1. I commented on this when GP was going to fax something to consultant – they are less likely to be hacked, intercepted or faked, and they have the genuine signature of the sender rather than than e-signature. In this area, they use them for the faxing of urgent prescriptions for certain drugs, and urgent referrals. Both NHS and private hospitals use them.

    Pagers are used for all kinds of things too. Doctor can be paged quickly to get them to a patient in need – less intrusive and a lot cheaper than mobile phone. Not only used for staff either. Relatives of gravely ill patients can be persuaded to go get something to eat, take a shower or similar, if they know they will be if their relative gets worse. Much quicker to use than a mobile phone. As more and more patients are having chemo which is tailored to their particular cancer, they can turn up at hospital, have blood work done, see doctor who decides on “recipe” for chemo; labs within hospital prepare it which my be some hours, patients given pager and go for a walk, go shopping, etc.

    So while ordinary people don’t use pagers or faxes in their daily lives, in some places, they are a better alternative to emails etc.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | July 16, 2018 | Reply

  2. Lawyers used to make similar arguments, but now most of them have joined the twenty-first century.

    Doctors are unhappy, that we might see what they have written about us!

    I want to have my medical records on an app, like the new Health Secretary does from his NHS GP.

    When I had my stroke in Hong Kong, it would have saved a lot of time and money!

    Comment by AnonW | July 16, 2018 | Reply

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