BT will build and fully manage a new private, secure communications network which will connect a closed group of NHS professionals across an initial 242 NHS sites, serving around 1.2 million patients. One of the many benefits of the new network is that IT applications commonly used by GPs to update patient records and print prescriptions, for example, will run faster and more reliably. As part of the new contract, BT will migrate the integrated communications network, which was procured under the previous NHS N3 framework, to the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) for the NHS. Once in place this new infrastructure will link the NHS with social care organisations for the first time.
With BT working on similar network projects with local NHS organisations in the South East, this could culminate in some of the first and largest HSCN regional networks in England and allow a number of NHS organisations across several counties to collaborate more closely. BT is an accredited supplier for the new HSCN network and will focus on providing high-speed, secure connections, voice, mobile and IT ‘cloud’ services to local NHS and social care organisations across the country.
Steve Abbott, at NHS North West Surrey CCG, said: “This new network will enable our providers across the Surrey health economy and beyond to securely and reliably share patient and other data where appropriate with each other. This is a critical enabler allowing us to deliver patient data at the point of care delivery and to improve the quality of care delivered to our patients.”
Mark Sexton, BT’s Regional Director for London and the South East, Business and Public Sector, said: “The NHS in Surrey needed a faster, more flexible, integrated and lower-cost network. Previously, for example, lots of GP sites weren’t on the same infrastructure. Now they’ll be using the same secure, cloud-based platform, allowing NHS sites across Surrey to better exchange information and meet the needs of their 1.2 million patients. This new contract further builds on our decade-long relationship with NHS North West Surrey and demonstrates we are a trusted partner. We look forward to working with our NHS partners to put the new network in place and migrate it across to the new HSCN over time.”
The new, high-speed network will connect geographically dispersed sites across Surrey, including Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which have replaced local Primary Care Trusts, GP surgeries; Acute and Mental Health Trusts and Community Services. The highly secure, flexible and resilient nature of the network will allow local NHS and social care organisations across the county to create their own dedicated virtual networks. This will allow a closed community of health and social care professionals to access specific IT applications and exchange information in a private, secure way.
The new network will also complement and more easily integrate with other public sector networks, including the fully managed integrated voice and data communications solution that BT provides to Surrey County Council which supports the provision of public services across the county.