NHS Fax Machine Ban – Just What’s Needed, More Dictat And Centralised Control


The National Health Service has been told that it cannot buy any more fax machines and really must get with the programme by upgrading to email and the like. The problem with this is that it’s simply more of what most ails the National HS which is centralised control and dictat. This is, of course, inevitable in a National HS which is run by politicians. Command and control becomes the default option, something unfortunate as command and control isn’t the way to run large organisations. Which is why near nowhere else has actually copied our Wonder of the World, yet near everywhere still managing to have health care on offer to all the population. It’s almost as if we chose the wrong method, isn’t it?

Fax machines will be banned across the NHS under plans to overhaul outdated technology and IT systems. The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has banned the purchasing of fax machines in the health service from next month, and has ordered the NHS to phase out the outdated machines by 31 March 2020.

Hey, maybe they should move along the technological spectrum.

In July, the Royal College of Surgeons revealed nearly 9,000 fax machines were in use across the NHS in England. The Department of Health said a change to more modern communication methods was needed to improve patient safety and cyber security. An RCS spokesman said they supported the government’s decision. In place of fax machines, the Department of Health said secure email should be used.

Dunno, maybe that is a good idea, maybe it isn’t.

NHS Trusts will instead be required to invest in new technology to replace any outdated systems, using £200million of Government cash set aside for modernisation earlier this year. Mr Hancock told The Sunday Telegraph: “Because I love the NHS, I want to bring it into the 21st century and use the very best technology available. We’ve got to get the basics right, like having computers that work

Central government deciding which computer and communication technologies the NHS should use being such a good idea that they spent £11 billion on it in one programme, gaining not one single usable line of code in the process.

The point being not whether technology should change but who should determine so and how?

Hancock was educated at Farndon County Primary School, in Farndon, Cheshire; the King’s School, an independent school in Chester, Cheshire; and West Cheshire College, a further education college.[4] He graduated from Oxford University with a 1st in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, having studied at Exeter College, Oxford.[1] He went on to earn an MPhil in Economics at the University of Cambridge, where he studied at Christ’s College, Cambridge.[4] Hancock became a member of the Conservative Party in 1999.[5] After university, Hancock briefly worked for his family’s computer software company,[6][1] before moving to London to work as an economist at the Bank of England, specialising in the housing market.[7] In 2005, he became an economic adviser to the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, later becoming Osborne’s chief of staff.

The current NHS system is that technological choices – such as banning fax machines – are made by a Bank of England economist and political bag carrier. That’s going to work well, isn’t it? As, in fact, it does, given that £11 billion splurged less than a decade ago.

Why not, you know, devolve the power down to those who know what they’re doing? After all, Hayek did insist that all knowledge is local, didn’t he? The problem with our politically controlled National Health Service is both that it’s controlled by politicians and that it’s national.

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Dodgy Geezer

.. The Department of Health said a change to more modern communication methods was needed to improve patient safety and cyber security….. You don’t HAVE ‘cyber security’ problems with a standalone fax machine. You don’t have viruses or people hacking into them. If you turn them on, they work. Of course they are old technology, and it will cost more and more to keep them going. And you may want to do things which you can only do with email. But if there are no pressures for change, why change? It is VERY expensive to commission, design, install and maintain… Read more »