NHS Orkney replaces annual £28,000 paper bill with £7,000 of iPads

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In a first for the NHS in Scotland, NHS Orkney has replaced paper with £7,000 worth of iPads for its 11 health board members.

The iPads are to be used at board meetings — almost entirely eliminating the need for paper for the board members — saving the organisation around £28,000 a year.

Board chairman John Ross Scott said: “In April, when we took the decision to go ‘paper light,’ we thought there would be a flurry of concern from the local community but they seemed to get the message that the route we are taking will help improve performance and make savings.

“A spend-to-save initiative was put into play using capital resources to purchase iPads and we removed printers from desks, cleared out our stores of printing material and instilled in board members the need for them to use technology and reject paper use.”

“While most public agencies provide their members with Blackberry phones and computers, we at NHS Orkney have not done so.  We had heard that a local authority in Wales had gained ‘paper light’ status but were surprised to find that we were the first in Scotland to bite the bullet and embrace technology in this way.  In my view, we need now to spread the initiative down through the organisation.  There is no end to what might be achievable in future.”

Members of the public will also have laptops made available to them when attending board meetings.