NHS trusts are spending £158,038 every day on 233 new computers and laptops, according to figures from a new survey by memory and storage expert, Crucial.
Freedom of information requests sent to 235 NHS trusts in England, of which 197 replied, revealed that since the beginning of 2013 organisations have disposed of 219,232 laptops and computers.
Over the same period, trusts spent £260,921,246 on 384,714 new PCs, at an average cost of £678.22.
Despite this spend, a separate survey by Crucial found that almost half (42%) of healthcare professionals feel IT hinders them from doing their job, finding they spend too much time fixing their own, or other people’s, IT problems.
Over a quarter (27%) are embarrassed to admit they don’t know how to do something technology based at work, with 5% admitting to not knowing how to send an email, and 21% not knowing how to scan their PC for viruses.
With the NHS disposing of 219,000 PCs, it’s possible that some of those being disposed have been misdiagnosed as having a terminal problem
Jim Jardine, Crucial director of DRAM product marketing, said of the findings: “The NHS is clearly investing in new hardware, spending £260m since 2013 on new PCs; many of these presumably replacing the 219,000 PCs disposed of during the same period.
“But, despite this spend, it’s clear that more training or IT support in using these new systems is needed to help give healthcare workers the means of being productive.
“Our study also highlighted the lack of knowledge of doing simple tasks like scan for viruses. But, with a bit of training, healthcare staff would feel a lot more confident and can make the most of the NHS’s IT investment.”
Jonathan Weech, Crucial SSD senior product marketing manager, added: “IT problems are something we all face in our daily lives, especially at work.
“Our patience with technology is slim at best, so it may come as no surprise that the average Brit will last 60 seconds before we start to get irritated by slow technology.
“The top culprits for losing our temper are frozen (47%) or slow (40%) computers.
“With the NHS disposing of 219,000 PCs, it’s possible that some of those being disposed have been misdiagnosed as having a terminal problem.
“The biggest temptation to remedy this is to ditch the culprit and switch it out for a newer model. But upgrading can be done at a fraction of the price of buying a new machine and extend the life of your current system, improving performance and productivity.”
A study of 350 IT decision makers in the UK, US, Germany and France found that more than half (52%) of IT professionals replace their computer systems every 3-4 years.
Many IT professionals choose to fix, rather than ditch and switch systems when faced with performance issues
When a desktop or laptop at work is slowing down or having performance issues, 50% of IT professionals will upgrade the system with new components, while 19% will buy new systems to replace slower computers.
Weech said: “Many IT professionals choose to fix, rather than ditch and switch systems when faced with performance issues.
“Upgrading is a cost-effective option that can save considerable amounts for the NHS.
“While we don’t know the reason for the disposal of 219,000 PCs; upgrading the machines could be cheaper than buying brand new.
“If you spend £250 per PC on a 525GB SSD and doubling your installed memory, that would represent a £93m saving versus buying 219,000 brand new machines at a cost of £678 each.”