NHS managers have admitted spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on new iPhones and iPads for staff since NHS England’s formation in October 2012.
NHS England said that the spend of £371,800 on iPhones and iPads was ‘vital’ to ensure that staff were able to work in multiple locations and work on-call.
Up until October 2013, NHS England bought more than 1,800 iPhones, costing £333,300, and almost 300 iPads, at a cost of £38,500. The figures were revealed in a parliamentary answer by health minister Dr Dan Poulter.
The answer also revealed the Department of Health and its non-departmental public bodies in the last three years has purchased 559 iPads and 2,583 iPhones since 2011.
A spokesperson for NHS England told Pulse: ‘The use of smartphones is vital to ensure staff can work effectively and efficiently when they are required to work at multiple locations, or take on on-call responsibilities.
‘Staff need to continue to answer phone calls and emails while on the move. The iPhone handsets are highly compatible with NHS Mail – the secure email system used throughout NHS England – as they automatically support the required encryption standards and can connect without the need to buy additional software.
‘As a new organisation, we had no existing IT and our newly-recruited staff had to be equipped to do their job.’