NHS England has announced a new £774m licensing deal for Microsoft productivity apps and products including Office365 and Teams for 1.5m NHS staff.

The deal includes licensing for Microsoft security solutions to provide capabilities around threat protection, data governance and compliance.

NHS England claims the new five-year deal, which replaces a 2020 agreement, will save the health service millions of pounds. The deal works out at £155m per year.

However, Digital Health News understands that every one of the 42 Integrated Care Boards in England will have to find up to half a million pounds extra each to help pay for the complex deal, placing further pressure on already stretched ICB budgets.

As with the 2020 agreement, the new deal was awarded to Bytes Software Services for the procurement of core licensing, meaning local organisations will no longer need to purchase their own licenses for Microsoft software.

The deal, negotiated by NHS England, will mean all NHS workers, including doctors, nurses, clinicians and support staff, can benefit from the full suite of Microsoft 365 workplace productivity apps, making collaboration easier and maximising time for care.

In May NHS England signed an £8m one month extension on the previous NHS Microsoft licensing deal.

John Quinn, Chief Information Officer at NHS England, said: “This new five-year agreement will mean we can create a platform for innovation so that NHS workers always have the latest digital tools to help them focus on frontline care.

Quinn added: “We’ve seen huge benefits following our original agreement with Microsoft in 2020, whether using Microsoft Teams to make it quicker and easier to arrange meetings or other digital tools that mean more time can be spent supporting patients.

Since the first national deal in March 2020 made the Microsoft Teams app available to all NHS staff, users are said have saved more than 17 million hours of time by using it for virtual meetings, where meeting in person is not necessary.

Quinn concluded: “This is a further great example of the NHS using our collective buying power to secure market-leading products at a reduced cost for taxpayers, and our contract with Bytes means we can also explore opportunities to introduce new innovative technology over the coming years.”

Clare Barclay, CEO, Microsoft UK, said: “As the NHS marks its 75th anniversary, Microsoft is delighted to provide technology that will enable clinicians and support staff to focus on what matters most – caring for patients.

“This agreement will ensure that NHS organisations can deliver efficiency, reform ways of working through collaboration tools and build resilience through a modern, secure cloud-based infrastructure.”