Xerox has been awarded a three-year £40m managed print services contract by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).
The contract, which was awarded through the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), was signed in April and went live yesterday (1 July).
It will see the business manage the production and printing of millions of secure and non-secure business forms, including 800m prescription forms each year, dental forms and operational forms, for the NHS in England and Wales.
In partnership with Adare, Xerox has established a secure printing site at Adare's facility in Huddersfield, Yorkshire complete with a secure litho press. Six new staff will be employed.
NHSBSA head of service Brendan Brown said: “When dealing with secure documents it’s important to closely monitor their progress from conception to delivery.
“As a result we needed a service that ensures zero disruption to the provision of clinically critical NHS forms, coupled with careful consideration of security and time efficiency. Xerox provides exactly the expertise we need.”
The Department of Health is pushing for the NHS to go paperless by 2018, which it has said will achieve "billions" in savings, improve healthcare services and help to meet the challenges presented by the UK's ageing population.
Therefore, as a significant part of this contract, Xerox will also look to identify new ways to transform the NHS’s document supply chain in order to remove duplicate business processes and secure cost and time savings.
For the non-secure services, such as dental forms and operational forms, this will include migrating processes from a physical to digital format where appropriate in order to support the wider NHS in its drive for further digitisation and workflow automation.
Xerox UK managing director Darren Cassidy said: “This contract is about understanding the specific needs of the health service and working together with the NHSBSA to manage productivity and security concerns.
“While initial roll-out looks solely at printing paper documents more efficiently, we look forward to identifying new ways to transform the NHSBSA’s document supply chain.”
In a blog post on Xerox’s website Cassidy added that digitising patient notes can free up ward time to focus on patient care and enable decisions to be made in a clinical environment to improve patient safety.
A further benefit is that digital information can be made available in multiple places at one time.
“It can’t be denied that making this shift to digitise and transition paper-based processes is a lengthy and fairly complex one; a journey we’re still right at the beginning of, with many steps ahead,” said Cassidy.
“Attempting to migrate all paper practices online at once is likely to result in more confusion and prove damaging to productivity. In many cases, it’s less about being completely paperless, and more about functioning with less paper.
“A fundamental first step towards fulfilling the NHS’ less-paper goal, therefore, is to ensure the security and confidentiality of new digital documents.
“The provision of a secure managed print service – and the creation of digital repositories for patient information – can help achieve this.”