‘Axe the Fax’ – removing the use of fax machines across health and care services

In an effort to ensure health and care services are using modern, up to date methods of communication, all NHS organisations have been instructed to stop buying fax machines. The reasoning behind this is to make communication more effective and secure, by encouraging all NHS services to use more up-to-date tools, such as email.

By April 2020, health and care services in Doncaster will no longer using facsimile machines to send or receive NHS or patient communication. Doncaster CCG and health and care organisations will be supporting the Department of Health directive to end fax usage by 31 March 2020.

With fax machines being phased out over the coming months, services will need to review their current working practices, so that they are no longer reliant on any outdated communication channels. In other words, if you previously used fax machines for any aspect of your work, then you will need to prepare to use alternative methods such as NHS mail.

This is a national campaign and all services are expected to discontinue their use of fax machines by 31 March 2020.

If you are an NHS organisation or patient, who normally communicates with the CCG (or one of the organisations listed below) via fax, then this will change before 31 March 2020.

Discussions are underway with NHS organisations and partner services, about how this will be managed in a safe and secure manner, along with processes that need to be updated and communicated across Doncaster and neighbouring areas.

Discussions so far have taken place with:

  • Local practices
  • Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust
  • Doncaster Council
  • Pharmacies
  • Dentists
  • Optometrists
  • Care Homes and
  • Hospices

Pilot sites have been identified and are testing how the use of NHS mail is working. The pilot includes care homes, hospitals and third party suppliers.

The aim of the pilot is to see how the use of NHS mail will work in place of fax machines and identify and address any issues.

If you have not already been contacted by Doncaster CCG and feel that ending fax usage will impact on you, please contact the Axe the Fax team.

Further updates will be posted as the project continues.