Hancock targets fax machine transformation in speech

Matt Hancock has set his sights on tackling the world’s largest collection of fax machines, deeming the issue as a determining factor to his success as Health Secretary.

Speaking at the GovTech Summit in Paris, Hancock responded to a panel question on how the leading figures on stage would measure successful of innovation in their respective organisations by saying: “When I am no longer the world’s largest owner of fax machines.”

Earlier this year the Royal College of Surgeons revealed that nearly 9,000 fax machines were in use across the NHS in England, the largest anywhere in the world. As a former Digital Secretary, Hancock has repeatedly targeted modernising the NHS through technology.

As part of the discussion, he said: “The biggest experience I have to bring to bear on the health system from previous roles is digitisation. Because I am able to say to everybody in the system and indeed to anyone in this audience: If you have an idea for the improvement of the health system in the UK from use of technology, we want to hear from you, we want to try it, we want to see it work.”

Fellow panellist Stephanie Eltz, the founder of healthcare start-up Doctify, an app that connects patients to doctors, praised the Health Secretary for championing technology, especially for promoting start-ups.

Hancock used the one-day GovTech Summit to outline his plans to improve the health service by taking a more flexible approach to procurement, setting out steering clear of fixed processes and setting arbitrary targets as his main priorities. 

NHS hospital trusts that own the most fax machines 

The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  603
Barts Health NHS Trust  369
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  250
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  250
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust  250
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust  237
Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust  235
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  234
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust  215

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