NHS Wales has signed a £39 million three-year deal with Microsoft which will see more than 100,000 NHS Wales staff being given access to Office 365.

GPs, consultants, nurses, therapists, paramedics and support staff, will all be able to communicate and securely share information more easily within the NHS and the wider public sector in Wales using the software.

It is hoped the deal will provide tools to enable new ways of working and better collaboration.

Andrew Griffiths, director of the NHS Wales Informatics Service, said: “This new national agreement is part of our commitment to refresh NHS Wales IT infrastructure and ensure it supports the transformational changes taking place across health and social care.

“It moves our digital estate away from locally managed services and into cloud-based services, delivering efficiencies and economies of scale.

“Frontline staff who work in our health and care services rely on technology to help them deliver services in new, innovative ways that put the needs of patients first. So I am very pleased that we are able to deliver the most up to date tools to our NHS Wales staff to help them with the fantastic work they do every day.”

To further strengthen cyber resilience the deal includes an upgrade to Windows 10 E5, Microsoft’s operating system with the latest security features, such as Advanced Threat Protection, that guard against the ever-changing panorama of cyber threats.

Griffiths added: “It’s essential that NHS Wales has secure systems that health staff and patients trust and this agreement will help achieve that. It will increase resilience and mean our services are running on the most up to date operating system at all times.”

A similar deal with signed in Scotland in November 2018.

NHS Scotland signed a “landmark agreement” with Microsoft that will see its entire estate moved onto Windows 10 over the next three years.