NHS trusts and IT services remain ambivalent about ‘bring your own device’ as a way of making staff mobile, eHealth Insider’s latest survey of acute sector IT suggests.

The second annual survey, which ran last month and attracted responses from 120 IT directors, managers and users from across the country, found that almost half (46%) had ‘no current interest’ in BYOD.

Just over one in ten said their trust had already invested in it and more than a third said their trust might invest in the coming year.

BYOD has taken off in other industries, but the NHS has been relatively slow to adopt it, with IT directors citing security and other concerns and unions questioning whether low-paid NHS staff can be expected to afford it.

EHI’s survey suggests that trusts continue to focus on their PC estates and on other forms of mobility. A third of respondents said their trust would be investing in PCs this year, and 37% in virtual desktops.

About a third of respondents were also interested in iDevices, but there was less interest in other mobile devices, such as BlackBerry smartphones and Android phones.

Only 16% of respondents said they were looking to invest in these, though a third of respondents said their organisations already use such devices, while only a fifth said it uses iDevices.

EHI ran the survey last month. It was completed by people working in hospital IT departments, shared services, information analysis and clinical practice.

Just under half of respondents worked in the North, Midlands and East and in large trusts with between 500 and 1,000 beds.

The survey focused on the impact of the Lansley reforms of the NHS and the ‘Nicholson challenge’ for the NHS as a whole to make efficiency savings of £20 billion by 2014-15.

Unsurprisingly, it found that trusts and their IT staff are under significant financial strain. Despite this, it found that trusts are looking to make significant investments in hardware and software this year.

The biggest areas of interest were patient administration systems, electronic patient records, and portals.

But e-prescribing featured heavily, with one in four respondents (42%) saying their trust or service was looking to invest in it, and a further fifth (17%) saying it would like to invest but could not afford it.

Systems which are presented as making a rapid contribution to efficiency projects also featured heavily in the IT investments that respondents said their trusts were interested in.

These include document and asset tracking (30%), clinical correspondence (27%) and patient communications such as appointment reminders (27%).

Read more about the survey in this week’s Insight.