The NHS is now the world’s biggest purchaser of fax machines

and uses more than 10% of the world’s remaining pagers


I haven't even seen a fax machine (or a pager) in about a decade

probably a good thing given their recent experiences of computer viruses.

Isn't it one of the largest single-organisation employers on the planet? I imagine it's the world's biggest purchaser of quite a lot of things. 

Fifth largest, pancakes. I hope that doesn't make it the world's largest purchaser of leeches, however.

Fifth biggest employer on the planet and it would be understandable if they were the biggest purchaser of copper wire, door handles, mattresses, or bedsheets....but faxes and pagers?!?!

They use a huge number of leeches still. They are very good for fixing hematoma. 


suspect they are probably also the biggest purchaser of maggots for larval therapy

For security and certainty faxes and pagers are still more reliable / secure than the alternatives aren’t they?

Security especially will have gone through the roof given there will now be a much lower risk of a mis-dial given that there almost certainly isn’t a fax machine on the other end if you hit a wrong number. 

Bicycles, that is facking awesome. I had no idea!

In NHS Highlands the admin staff are given a personal quota of paper that they have to put in the printers when they need it

If they forget to remove the excess they are reported and punished

The NHS is dumb


The fifth largest employer in the world is going to be the largest single purchaser of all sorts of random things just by virtue of size.

This doesn't tell you anything at all about how many fax machines or pagers are typical in healthcare round the world, it just tells you the NHS is big.

 NHS Highlands 

when you say "paper" you mean "cow hide which they scribble on with burned twigs" don't you?

Pancakes - it tells you that their technology is woefully antiquated and that this is almost certainly cultural. Its the same as finding out a company is the biggest purchaser of DVRs, CR-ROMS, or Austin Allegro's. 

*uses encyclopedia britannica CD rom to diagnose patient*

ok, so article 1 is conflating fax machines with label printers for FMCG 

and article 2 states that they're using the fax because their other technology is terrible "But its electronic system can’t connect with other clinics’ records."

In my 1991 diary I wrote that  mentioned to a partner I might be going to buy a fax machine to use at home and he said I would be better off spending the money on children's shoes. I had just bought an Amstrad PCW in Dec 1989 which was arguably life changing actually.


I got rid of my fax machine about 2 years ago and was only getting 1 fax a year approx. (They are hard to hack)

Children's shoes??? To use them as carrier pigeons, like?

Your "partner"?

never had you down as a rug-muncher Lyds

I thought they like them because you can write on a piece of paper and fax it very quickly, and the recipient has it there to hand and doesn't need to check a computer to see whether it's arrived, and neither needs to log into a computer which is time consuming and inconvenient when you're working on a ward

There is no “NHS”. It is made up of c30000 different organisations

we have a free at the point of care social insurance system but the NHS as “noun” is one of the biggest lies peddled to us all by politicians 



DaPenguin speaks da truth.

Not that lots of different organisations is necessarily a bad thing, if each has authority and accountability appropriate to its role.

But pretending that it is a single organisation when it isn't is a fundamental error and leads directly to all sorts of nonsense.

Second biggest lie is the privatisation one. The delivery of services relating to 90% of patient contacts (eg primary care) is already performed by private organisations 

I had to go for an appointment for something earlier this year and they were ace.  the dr said the blood results would be out in 2 hrs.  cool - i asked him to text or email me them.  no I will dictate a letter and you will get it in 5-10 days.

dictate?  wtf?

That’s cos how that stuff gets sorted is ultimately down to Drs, and they make judges look radical 

As there are 30000 diff orgs there is no functioning interoperable computer system. So, his law firm (the 2ry care trust) fax your law firm (your gp)

languge matters. The “NHS” lie obscures all this and feeds the detractors who say the NHS is inefficient. In general it is not and, where it is )as per your example) the causes are structurally hardwired.

I’ve said this before but lots of mortgage lenders still do everything because it can’t be hacked.  Law firms are also no longer accepting account details sent by email due to the risk of cyber fraud and insisting on client account details for completion being sent by fax.

Pretty sure that private stat isn't true round my bit

I'd be up for more tho

Yes it is true. All Primary care providers are businesses 

NHS Scotland spent about£80m on contracts with the private sector compared to about £9bn in England? 

Yeah I just checked and England is totally different.

Sucks to be youse, I guess.

Politically at least. Hospital care here blows goats compared to northern Ireland.

Scottish GPs are private contractors too clergs

Fax machines are used between countries when sending patients notes etc

No point in sending it on flashy, buggy  modern systems when the recipient is still working off Windows 95 and Netscape 

Scottish GPs have totally different contracts from those in England. (NHS Scotland still exists btw). There's complete divergence. And I doubt we'll be sued by Richard Branson any time soon 

The English and  scottish gp contracts were virtually identical until April this year. Providers under both are private organisations. Hence why Scottish (and English) GP services are already ‘privatised’

Scottish GPs have always been self employed and operate through partnerships. I don't think that's the same as "privatisation" in the true sense, you are being entirely disingenuous. There is no scope for polyclinics or virgin popping in to do your smear. The GPs operate under strict regulations and it is a fundamental principle that the Scottish government will not support any privatisation. 

Whether or not it is better I do not know. I do know that your sense of the NHS is not reflective of the reality in Scotland, where it is still a unified entity funded through the block grant.

As it is I would abolish the gp system entirely. It's discriminatory and exclusionary and slow. But not privatised healthcare like you get in e&w.

I’m aware that 2ry and 3ry services in Scotland are differently organised to England. My point was primary care is not, and that’s where most contacts with the health service occur. Cottage industry providers or not, they are business all the same. 



Yeah that's bollocks. GP partnerships are not private contractors to the NHS. Most healthcare in Scotland is free of interference from the private sector (for better or worse).

Also please acknowledge that "the NHS" does in fact exist as a unified entity, just outside England.

Im sure I heard something on the radio last week about how the Kremlin has reverted to writing things down to counter hacking. Oh the irony.

and (natch) Mont Blanc pens given out by Putin are the latest status symbol.

Do you want me to link you to the regs which govern provision of general medical services in Scotland, where providers are legally defined as contractors clergs?

I think you are trying to say you don’t mind a few GPs getting together to provide services, and that is generally preferable to virgin et al. Fine. I don’t disagree for most part. But I think it is wrong to conduct a debate about provitisation of a market that is already privatised. Doesn’t help. Still private entities contracting to provide services for, as opposed to being part of, an “NHS”.  

Have acknowledged enough times already that 2ry and 3ry services are organised differently

"My healthcare system is less private than yours." FFS

Pingu, you can define a fucking frog as a contractor in statute it doesn't make the service of ribbiting privatised.

I am saying

1. Your perception of the NHS is anglocentric and therefore inaccurate across the board.

2. The NHS in Scotland is CONSIDERABLY less privatised than in England overall. A gp is self employed, that is not the same as being privatised in the way that is understood to be problematic (G4S cleaners smearing their own shit on the public loos so they can claim the poo cleaning premium etc etc cet).  

3. The NHS is a coherent and cohesive entity in Scotland, not dozens. 

4. Yeah, tbh, lizard, sorry you picked the less wise path.

Thanks Clergs. Shame you’ve lost your rag over this tbh. I think all of your 4 points are wrong but let’s leave it there as clearly we won’t agree

Sorry you think NHS Scotland doesn't exist? The easiest one to prove?

All are right but folk like you tend to be very siloed. 

Heh tbh if you'd agreed with 3 I'd think you were just being obtuse but as it is I think you know you're totally wrong and just styling it out.

It is also the case that English NHS management need massive slimming down


Jeebus, Brioche. Do you get this buzzed about the Clockwork Orange being in Glasgow City Council public ownership?

I was on that on Saturday and it reeked of the 70s 

So I could believe it