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NHS Wales Pulls Off Cost-Saving Deal With Microsoft


Reading - UK - 31 January 2006 - NHS Wales has negotiated a deal with Microsoft to provide the latest desktop and mobile computing software to benefit healthcare staff and patients, and to make a saving to NHS Wales of an estimated 6.1m pounds over the three year term of the deal.

The deal is seen as a critical building block in the ambitious modernisation plans for NHS Wales as set out in the ’Designed for Life’ strategy. The agreement means that the latest Microsoft operating and software licences will be provided for 35,000 computer desktops throughout NHS Wales, ensuring staff across the service have access to vital computer equipment at an affordable price. The arrangement also sees Microsoft providing strategic support and training to staff across NHS Wales.

Health Minister Dr Brian Gibbons said: “This is excellent news for NHS Wales and for patient care. The cost-saving deal we have agreed with Microsoft means that we can continue to ensure that money is focused where it is needed on providing world class services for patients”

The deal delivers much better value for money for NHS Wales compared to what it would have cost if the licences had been negotiated locally for different trusts. It means the service is getting the best possible deal for its IT systems and allows local money for patient care to go further.

Mike Lugg, Director of IM&T at North East Wales Trust said: “This deal will bring significant benefits to patients and the health workforce. By implementing a standard version of desktop technologies we will ensure a consistent approach to improving the performance of NHS Wales.”

Carl Mustad, Head of IT in Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust said: “This deal will ensure that all NHS organisations keep software and licenses relevant and up-to-date and that staff across the NHS are using the same version of the software. This compatibility across Wales will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the NHS use of IT resources.”

Other benefits for healthcare workers include training vouchers for skills in the latest IT products, as well as a ’home use’ programme that will enable staff with existing work-based licences to purchase a reduced-cost licence of the latest Office software for personal use at home, and further reductions will be available on other Microsoft products.

The ability to obtain the most up-to-date Microsoft Software means all desktops will have access to Microsoft’s Welsh Language Pack, an add-on developed by Microsoft in conjunction with the Welsh Language Board, which enables computer users to adapt their software to display many commonly used features in Welsh.

The deal is being funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and managed by Informing Healthcare, which is leading the development of new methods, tools and information technologies to improve health services in Wales.

Informing Healthcare Director Gwyn Thomas said: “This is an outstanding deal for the NHS in Wales. The time and cost savings achieved from this deal will mean more resources can be steered directly to meet the needs of patients. I’m delighted we’ve been able to conclude these negotiations. It’s good news for patients, good for healthcare workers, and good for the NHS in Wales.”

Andy Matson, Head of Health in Microsoft commented: “This is a great deal which will put NHS Wales in good stead for achieving on its ambitious modernisation agenda. Microsoft will work closely with NHS Wales to provide healthcare staff across the country with access, training and strategic support to use the most advanced Microsoft software available, and in their own language.”


About the Microsoft agreement
The Microsoft deal, signed on Friday January 20th, is a three year Enterprise agreement, containing licences for Windows XP operating system and Office Professional Enterprise Edition (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access and Infopath) together with Windows, Exchange, Systems Management Server (SMS) and Sharepoint Services (SPS) client access licenses (CALs). It includes the additional benefit of Software Assurance, which enables organisations to upgrade and keep current the latest versions of all the Enterprise products.

About Informing Healthcare
Informing Healthcare, the organisation managing the Microsoft deal, is leading the development of new methods, tools and information technologies to improve health services in Wales. Its aim is to modernise health service delivery, promoting new ways of working through better access to information and knowledge for shared decision making.

Informing Healthcare is one of the key enablers for Designed for Life, the national ten year strategy to deliver world class health and social care for Wales.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

Visit the Microsoft UK homepage for further information on Microsoft products


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