NHS Trusts Still Struggling On With Windows XP, FOI Request Finds

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Health body facing major bill due to NHS trusts refusing to move on

A large number of NHS trusts are still running Windows XP despite the software only having a few months of support left, a survey has found.

The results of an FOI (Freedom Of Information) request by Citrix found that many NHS trusts are waiting until the last minute to make the switch from XP, with 74 percent planning to switch in March 2015, the last month before support ends, whereas while an additional 14 percent were unsure when they would transition their last computer.

Of the 35 trusts sent the request, 100 percent were found to still be using Windows XP in some form.

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Citrix’s survey also found that only five of the 35 trusts are currently using desktop virtualisation technology to specifically address Windows XP migration, with two others planning or considering such a move by next year.

This is despite the benefits of implementing such virtualisation tools, which can offer improved management of desktop environments and future updates, as well as improving productivity by allowing staff to work on the move.

Despite Microsoft officially ending support for Windows XP in April, the NHS was able to extend the deadline for its IT support until April 8 2015, costing the government around £5.5 million, with these findings suggesting an extension could be needed.

“Like the rest of the public sector, the NHS is under tremendous pressure to do more with less. The IT department is no exception,” commented Jason Tooley, UK country manager at Citrix.

“These findings highlight a wider opportunity for NHS trusts across the UK to harness technology today to transform IT processes for the better. Utilising IT – including desktop and application virtualisation – can positively impact the entire workplace, delivering increased productivity and ultimately improved patient care.”

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