A £13,000 penalty has been paid by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, after the NHS foundation trust was found to have underlicensed a software package.

The settlement concerns SmarTerm terminal emulation software from supplier Esker, used by the trust in its hospitals to help simplify and automate IT. The licensing breach became apparent after a former NHS employee reported it to the Federation Against Software Theft.

After this report, an initial investigation was opened by Trading Standards, and FAST began communications with the hospital trust. The trust insisted the breach was a “genuine error” and said that it would “never knowingly use unlicensed software”.

John Lovelock, chief executive at FAST, said the trust had resolved the issue quickly. But he added: “Anyone who thinks that FAST is an organisation without clout needs to think again.”