As the NHS is facing a number of challenges such as the need to provide better patient care with sometimes limited budgets or to provide a great experience for the staff that are working within the NHS, many trusts are looking at technology as a way to automate, streamline or enhance the ways in which they are working. Looking at the wider healthcare sector, Craig Taylor, Cloud Solutions Director at Phoenix, commented:
“Whether looking at ageing infrastructure, lack of investment in technology, budget cuts, doing more with less or how to stay up to date with the latest technological trends, the NHS is always looking for ways to improve for its staff and patients.
They have to balance that against providing a great patient and staff experience as well, but with some of the solutions that are available now we’re able to provide virtual assistants, bots and technology such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to support the NHS and perform remote consultations with Microsoft Teams.”
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust is a relatively new organisation that only merged just over two years ago. They have a philosophy of #TimeMatters and this applies to everything they do and hope to achieve. Time that matters for their patients, their staff and their families – how can they give time back to these people? As part of the merger they realised that IT transformation would be absolutely pivotal to everything they did and enable #TimeMatters to become even more of a reality.
As part of the project and merger, ESNEFT had two legacy sites, two legacy infrastructures and they needed to bring all of those back together. That’s when they engaged with Phoenix.
Mike Meers, Director of IT at ESNEFT looked back at the position they were in pre-merger and why they needed to do this project, “If you look at our historical organisation’s pre-merger, IT was one of the biggest frustrations – the time it takes for a PC to boot up, the fact that we are a multi-site organisation and they couldn’t access the systems. So, IT really looked at ways under the #TimeMatters agenda that every project we implemented dovetailed back to the trust philosophy.
Going forward our new IT strategy very much centres around an internet-first and a cloud-based strategy. Obviously, being two former legacy organisations, we’ve got our own data centres on both sites, but whenever we tender for any solution now, we insist on looking at a cloud-based strategy. We’ve already moved one of our major clinical systems into Azure. You get the level of resilience and business continuity that we couldn’t do with our own data centre environments.”