THE NHS used enough paper to go round the world 174 times last year, The Sun can reveal.
Some 1.9 billion sheets of paper were bought through the NHS Supply Chain – totalling £8million.
And sales of envelopes were 134 million – worth £2.1 million.
But these figures only represent half of the paper used by the NHS – with organisations buying the remaining half from other suppliers.
Campaigners said the figures laid bare how the NHS remains stuck in the 20th century with its outdated technology and IT systems and exposed the extent to which GPs were “stuck on snail mail”.
Last year it was revealed that a staggering 8,000 fax machines were still being used by the NHS.
The figures persuaded Health Secretary Matt Hancock to announce a ban on any NHS organisation buying new fax machines, while existing ones will be phased out by next year.
In total the amount of paper used in the NHS is equivalent to 690,000 miles, according to internal government calculations.
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This is equivalent to cross the world 174 times – based on A4 paper being lined up lengthways.
James Roberts from the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: “Spending taxpayer cash on reams and reams of paper in the NHS simply doesn’t stack up. Health chiefs need to get with the times and enter the 21st century.
“Technology can make services better for patients and save the taxpayer millions too. Even simple things like direct-to-doctor emails can make a world of difference. When you can book a GP appointment online, there’s no excuse for doctors’ surgeries to be stuck on snail mail.”