UK Intellectual Property Office - Sorry can you FAX that
It's not just the NHS, needed to submit a form to the UK patent office but when asking (by email) which email address I should send the completed form to the response was...
"we don't accept that form by email"
Seems that while they do allow some forms to be filled in online this particular one could only be done via snail mail, courier or... wait for it ..... fax!!
The reason? Apparently this is because they need to have it date stamped and counted by their document reception department only for it then to be scanned in. Sounds like some wonderful job creation right there.
Given I've never sent a fax in my life I thought I may as well try before they go totally obsolete. How hard could it be, right... Easy, look, windows has a fax and scan app that will sort it out... NO. You'll need a fax modem for it to work, an ADSL modem is far too modern for that and you're totally out of "luck" if you're on fibre. Ok the local library they should have one... NO. Free wifi, access to photocopying but fax haa must be joking.
Searching online I found many places offering free fax but most require you to sign up for a contract to allow you to send, perfect if you need to send many, but for one single item seems a bit of overkill. I did eventually come across one that seemed trustworthy and provided a few free sheets called "hellofax" fairly straight forward so if you find yourself in this situation you may like to check them out.
It doesn't half seem ironic though that an office that is handling patents for cutting edge technology relies on fax.