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Toughbook roll-out defended

30th September 2011

The NHS provider Kirklees Community Healthcare Services has said it was right to make a decision to bring in tablet computers for staff.

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Reports had circulated that problems with connectivity had caused serious issues for workers.

The organisation started to roll out Panasonic Toughbooks to staff around two-and-a-half years ago.

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner reported that the tablets had connectivity problems when they attempted to use mobile services.

The provider's chief executive Robert Flack said to eHealth Insider that there had been connectivity problems but just 1-2% of work hours had been sacrificed due to them.

He said: “The total hours lost because of a connectivity problem amount to about 277, out of a total of about 20,000 working hours, which is to be expected from any new IT implementation."

Kirklees implemented the tablet with BT but has now allowed staff to access a variety of networks.

Yesterday it dealt with a connectivity problem due to an issue with Orange's 3G connection.

However Mr Flack said this was a standalone problem and would be solved "with compensation from Orange."

He added that they had received criticism from staff who did not feel comfortable using the devices and had "over-reacted".

"We started by giving the Toughbooks to people who had put their hands up and were keen to have them, then we started giving them to people who weren’t so enthusiastic. In some of those cases the reaction from those people has been over the top, it’s fair to say."

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