South West Communications Group: North Bristol NHS Trust

South West Communications Group: North Bristol NHS Trust from South West Communications Group

By: South West Communications Group  06/07/2011
Keywords: security, technical support, network services

The background

South West Communications Group helps bring cutting edge communications technology to North Bristol NHS Trust and supports its dedication to becoming the first digital Trust in the UK.

North Bristol NHS Trust is the fifth largest healthcare Trust in England. From 2 acute hospitals at Southmead and Frenchay, the Trust employs around 9,000 staff, provides 1,300 beds and sees an annual turnover in excess of £450 million. The Trust is currently developing a private finance initiative (PFI) project at its Southmead site to provide a new £1/2 billion 800-bed “super hospital‟. This hospital, which is due to open in 2013, will be a world-class facility for patients.

The challenge

The Trust had delayed replacing its existing telecommunications infrastructure, in which antiquated switchboard equipment and basic handsets with little functionality were commonplace, as it knew the PFI project was in the pipeline and decided to wait until the new-build began.

However, a large proportion of North Bristol NHS Trust’s voice communication systems were situated in a switch room which was located within the development site footprint for the new “super hospital‟ and as such was due to be demolished to clear the site for the PFI contractor. The switchboard therefore needed to be replaced and voice services re-provided.

The Trust stressed the need for zero downtime or loss of service during the migration from its existing Siemens ISDX to a new voice solution. With 7,000 extensions, this gradual migration process would take at least 9 months resulting in a mix of legacy and new telephony that still need to operate seamlessly. The Trust was also keen to implement a speech enabled directory as the third phase of the solution.

The Trust wanted the solution to meet specific objectives so it could provide a robust and secure network for its voice and data traffic to reduce costs and provide high quality services and a offer a Trust-wide single strategic approach that would include numbering solutions and shared technical architecture. It had to have sustainable and accessible home and remote access connections to accommodate a mobile workforce, full disaster recovery and a customer-focused telecommunications service to enhance dealings with patients and the public.

The solution

Following a formal tender process, South West Communications Group was chosen to deploy a highly resilient Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX Enterprise IP telephony solution for North Bristol NHS Trust’s two large acute hospital sites representing an initial £2 million investment.

This installation will ultimately serve more than 9,000 users across 200 sites, including community bases, and is part of the Trust’s continued drive to embrace technology in order to make the healthcare experience easier and more efficient for patients and staff. The initial contract award and subsequent additions as the project has progressed now includes:

  • * Seamless migration
  • * Highly resilient network design with no single point of failure for disaster recovery purposes
  • * Telephony for 7,500 members of staff
  • * Centralised operators
  • * Interactive speech directory
  • * Contact centre functionality
  • * Unified communications
  • * Video conferencing facilities
  • * Automatic appointment reminders
  • * Alarm management system
  • * Lone worker alarms
  • * Waiting room pagers
  • * Voice and fax mail for a potential 10,000 users
  • * Web server hosting
  • * Immediate remote and two-hour on-site maintenance support

Keywords: business telephone systems, communication equipment, Contact centre, network services, ongoing Technical support, security, service desk, technical support, Technological Expertise, video conferencing

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