NHS TRUSTS are splashing £158,000 per day on new PCs and laptops at an average cost of £678 per device, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed.
The figures, obtained by memory and storage company Crucial, came from 197 of the 235 Trusts in England. Since the beginning of 2013, they have disposed of 219,232 computers - equivalent to around 120 each day - and spent over £260 million on 384,714 new machines.
Crucial said that it is possible that some of the computers are being disposed of by accident - they may have been mistakenly identified as having an unfixable problem, for example. Some may also simply be too old to operate properly, in which case upgrading is another way in which the NHS could save money and avoid electronic waste.
By doubling the installed memory of PCs, rather than buying new ones, Crucial estimates that the NHS could save £93 million.
A separate survey by the firm found that, despite the money spent, 42 per cent of healthcare professionals still feel that IT is a hindrance in their jobs. More than a quarter said that they lack technology skills; 20 per cent did not know how to scan for viruses; and five per cent admitted to not knowing how to send an email.
Jim Jardine, director of DRAM product marketing at Crucial, said: "The NHS is clearly investing in new hardware...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 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."
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