North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) is partnering with IT innovation business Block to deliver a wholesale transformation of its IT network that will transform staff working and patient care.

The partnership will see NBT’s wired and wireless (Wi-Fi) networks upgraded to a single, unified solution. The trust, one of the largest in England, is currently operating on two networks using different technologies which are now unable to cope with the demands being placed on them.

A key driver for the project was to increase and guarantee network availability and resilience whilst embracing new technologies around automation, management and security. The new network will therefore offer a strong and secure platform, in particular improving connectivity across the entire trust estate, enabling patient entertainment and wireless connectivity at all locations, better supporting operationally critical systems and services, and allowing staff to work more closely irrespective of location.

The solution will encompass a wide range of the latest Cisco technologies to deliver next generation Software Defined Network capabilities. Besides a number of benefits, it will also make the trust more resilient to cyber-crime and provide exceptional levels of visibility and protection against threats across the internal network infrastructure.

The project, which has been driven by NBT, is particularly timely given that the trust has just agreed a long-term strategy to further integrate digital solutions that will improve the patient experience and see healthcare providers working more collaboratively.

Its importance is recognised by NBT’s Director of Informatics, Neil Darvill. “Our Trust Board saw the need to make this investment because it underpins our digital strategy. Good technology is essential to the success of this strategy, so the upgrade of our network is a major change for North Bristol NHS, not just in terms of the work but what this will ultimately deliver for our staff and patients. We’ll be able to work more effectively by being better connected as an organisation, and having a network better able to support essential systems and infrastructure. It will benefit patients, whether supporting the changes we want to make to improve patient safety or, more immediately, through their experience in hospital. We’ve created a long-term digital vision for NBT and our regional healthcare partners, and the next generation platform will enable us to successfully deliver this.”

Marc Chang, Block’s CEO adds; “the Trusts innovative and forward thinking approach, combined with our digital healthcare expertise makes for a wonderful partnership. We remain focused on helping organisations such as NBT to deliver modern world-class care, whilst also enabling sustainable change and transformation. We are delighted to be partnering with North Bristol NHS Trust on the delivery of a technology and service platform fitting for their long-term plans.”

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