See also:
UCLH CIO James Thomas on supplier management
UCLH CIO James Thomas on unified communications
UCLH CIO James Thomas on unified communications

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has signed a deal for managed print services with Xerox, which should save it £1.2m over the next seven years.

Speaking with CIO UK, ICT director James Thomas explained that the deal, was the latest stage in a journey away from conventional outsourced services to a utility pay-per-click financial model.

The service halves the number of print scanning and copying devices across the trust's six hospitals and other administrative sites. It consolidates 35 suppliers down to one. Perhaps more importantly, explained Thomas, the payment model provides assured savings for the trust which is under pressure to cut budgets, along with the rest of the NHS.

Thomas said: "The contract with Xerox means we move into a world where we don't have to talk about assets. Services are paid for at a consumption rate."

Although the end-goal is to remove paper from the trust's processes, Thomas said an element of paper flow is still required. The trust has 8,000 staff, permanent and contract and cares for one million patients a year and even a tiny proportion of information flow using paper considering these numbers is still a significant requirement.

Thomas said the Xerox deal is a big step forward in managing that usage down because it involved getting people used to the idea that they didn't need to have a dedicated printer for their workgroup.

The next stage in the process is a pilot project to allow printing from mobile devices wherever staff are in the trust's estate. It follows an outsourcing contract with Azzuri to provide unified communications.

It also delivers on the trust's commitment to allow staff to bring their own mobile devices in and use them for work purposes. Thomas said there are already over 2,000 official devices distributed to UCLH staff that could be supported by the mobile print service.