Technology can support remote working
Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images
All NHS organisations are being offered free use of Microsoft Teams software in a bid to support remote working during the coronavirus outbreak.
The technology vendor is offering gratis use of its technology “for a limited time period” while health-service entities battle the pandemic.
The platform offers users communications tools including instant messaging, audio and video calls, and “virtual meetings”.
NHS Digital last week rolled out Teams to all organisations using NHSMail as their email platform. Those that use another system can still get free access, but will need to apply directly to Microsoft, and then visit an online support site where they will receive assistance with the implementation of the software.
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Ian Phoenix, director of technology at NHS Digital, said: “Technology is key to supporting patients who are self-isolating and makes sure they have the information they need and access to medical support and advice. For doctors and NHS staff this means that working remotely becomes much easier and more practical.”
The digital agency said that Teams will sit within the NHS Secure Boundary perimeter security infrastructure, ensuring its safe use for health-service entities.
Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft UK, said; “Microsoft is fully committed to assisting the NHS at this incredibly challenging time. The use of Microsoft Teams will ensure the hard-working doctors, nurses and support staff across all NHS organisations have the collaboration tools they need to carry out their vital work. We are hugely appreciative of their ongoing efforts to tackle COVID-19 and will continue to provide support however best we can.”