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Hospiscare solve their paper ailment


  • Healthcare

Offering Groups:

  • Scanners

Solution Areas:

  • Imaging Solutions


  • United Kingdom
  • Europe


  • Streamline the collection of Gift Aid donations
  • Lower the use of paper resources
  • Search through records of 650 patients, 200 staff and 800 volunteers


  • More efficient filing by scanning all formats, single or double-sided
  • Rapid search
  • Gift Aid scheme easier to manage

Exeter and Devon based charity Hospiscare has joined forces with Fujitsu on their quest to comply with the Gift Aid scheme and to achieve paperless filing. They are one of the 190,000 charities registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales and are hoping that, with its new procedure for scanning, all donation forms and existing paperwork will reduce their paper foot print and become a champion of a paperless scheme.

Hospiscare is a forward-thinking charity founded in 1982. They specialise in caring for the dying, providing nursing care and emotional support to patients with a terminal illness. Their doctors and nurses work closely with other healthcare services to ensure that their patients are fully supported, at home, in their hospice or in hospital.

The charity is now caring for over 650 patients at any one time and is supported by more than 200 staff and nearly 800 volunteers which makes for a lot of paperwork. As it is also an independent charity, it relies on the generosity of local people to raise the majority of the £4m a year needed to deliver its service.

Unsurprisingly, a significant part of Hospiscare's income and documents come from the Gift Aid scheme. The scheme was originally introduced in 1990, 8 years after Hospiscare's inception, to enable UK residents and companies to give single gifts of money to charity tax-effectively. According the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the total annual income of registered charities were more than £44.5 billion at the end of 2007, so each registered charity has to store and track a significant amount of records in order to meet the Gift Aid compliance and Hospiscare is no different.

For this reason, Hospiscare is keen to streamline their records keeping process and use fewer resources in their efforts to become more efficient and environmentally friendly. Migrating to a paperless filing system means that the charity can store all the records on a computer or a server. Keeping a digital copy of all records doesn't only help save a lot of room from the paper filing cabinets, but also makes searching for any particular document or record easy. This is especially important from a compliance point of view, as charities have to make sure that all required records are easily accessible during the Gift Aid scheme audit. It is also easier to put data protection measures on digitised records, as the legitimate users are required to enter a password or a fingerprint scan before they can access the confidential data.

Hospiscare quote

To realise the goal of paperless filing, Hospiscare started looking for an appropriate scanning device and started speaking to leading scanning manufacturer Fujitsu at the end of 2007. After some thorough research on different models, Hospiscare found that the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 was the most appropriate due to its high quality scans and its capability to scan documents of all sizes.

Brian Clifton, database administrator at Hospiscare, says: "We wanted to start making digital records of our daily donation records so we could store them in a more effective and searchable way. The Fujitsu scanner fits all our requirements. It is quite a small device, but it allows us to scan from a small coupon in the local paper to an address on an envelope, from an A4 letter to an A3 poster. We can also scan double-sided documents easily without having to fiddle with the hardware, or to worry about the complicated software setting.

"Fujitsu has been very helpful since day one and they even agreed to give us a scanner for free. We have been using the ScanSnap S510 for a few months, and are already planning to purchase an extra unit on our way to having paperless filing."

Since the end of 2007, Brian has been very pleased with their first step to a future without paper, which at the same time makes Gift Aid scheme much easier to manage. He is also looking forward to freeing more space for other use from the document cabinets and thousands of paper records.

Andy Cowling, marketing manager of Fujitsu UK, comments: "It is great to hear that we can help Hospiscare to achieve its goal to have paperless filing. With the right equipment, scanning can help eliminate large piles of paper and make filing more efficient. We admire the efforts of Hospiscare and encourage other charities to take up the challenge of cutting the amount of paper they have in the office. Digital documents are definitely the way of the future".

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