Trust leads the way with datacentre ‘pods’

The South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust along with Health Minister, Edwin Poots, Hewlett Packard (HP) and BT have today launched new HP Performance Optimised Datacentres known as ‘PODS’ which will provide reliable cost effective IT services across the Trust’s 120 facilities and the four hospitals – Lagan Valley, Downe, Ulster, Bangor & Ards and located on the Ulster Hospital site. The ‘PODS’ are the first to be installed in Northern Ireland on the Ulster Hospital site and have been implemented in partnership with Hewlett Packard and BT. 

The HP POD is a cloud solution which provides a single virtual data centre environment for all the Trust’s operations. It will allow the Trust to implement a virtual desktop infrastructure which will enable clinicians to access patient information from any location, using any device. The Trust intends rolling out a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ and mobility strategy across the Trust over the coming months. 

Stephen Stewart, Assistant Director of Technology & Telecommunications said “Demand for IT services in the healthcare sector has grown exponentially in the past few years, but the simple fact is that clinical areas in hospitals are not designed to house data centres. We have centralised all server support for the Trust at the Ulster Hospital, which is undergoing a rebuild. Originally this included the provision of two new bricks-and mortar data centres but, instead of putting an expensive data centre in each of the new buildings, we have located two HP PODs next to them. From day one, we know that the HP PODs will deliver scalable capacity to meet our compute requirement for the next seven to ten years.” 

Roisin Coulter, Director of Planning, Performance & Informatics added “Maximising the use of technology and exploiting its potential will be key to delivering and sustaining high quality, safe, and effective Health and Social Care. The partnership with HP, BT and the South Eastern HSC Trust will allow us to achieve this.” 

Mark Hopkins, BT Health Sector Account Director, said: “BT has a long standing relationship with the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust and has successfully delivered a wide range of communications services using the latest technology across a wide range of initiatives. We are therefore delighted to be involved today in showcasing this latest innovation in highly optimised datacentre solutions… designed, built and configured specifically to meet the immediate, and future, IT needs of the Trust in transforming the delivery of patient care.” 

Martin Murphy, Managing Director, HP Ireland added “The complexity and speed at which technology moves in the healthcare sector meant that the Trust needed to be more responsive to IT needs across its organisation. The rapid availability of scalable compute power offered by HP PODs has enabled the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust to bring forward their development plan.“ 

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