Sussex NHS professionals to exchange critical patient information faster
1.6 million patients across Sussex will benefit from faster treatment and diagnosis thanks to health professionals being able to quickly share critical patient information more rapidly, following a new five-year multi-million pound contract with BT.
BT has struck a deal with the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust on behalf of NHS organisations in Sussex which will see the firm build and fully manage a new private, secure, communications network, connecting 390 NHS sites across the region.
One of the many benefits of the new network is that IT applications commonly used by GPs to update patient records and print prescriptions, will run faster and more reliably across a common platform.
The highly secure, flexible and resilient nature of the network, based on BT’s Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology, 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 rapidly and exchange information securely.
Andy Bissenden, associate director of digital, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “This will benefit the whole health economy by ensuring we enable the infrastructure to ensure we can provide better and timely information sharing across health and social care in Sussex and our boarding county’s organisations.”
Mark Sexton, BT’s regional director for London and the South East, Business and Public Sector, said: “The NHS in Sussex needed a scalable network that enabled the sharing of critical patient information across different local sites. Clinicians will now be able to access and share information using the same, secure, cloud-based platform to meet the needs of the 1.6 million patients across Sussex. For example, local GPs and hospitals will be connected on the same communications infrastructure for the first time enabling faster patient diagnosis and treatment.”
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 facilitate some of the first and largest HSCN regional networks in England and enable 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.