Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Working with Phoenix and Microsoft, NNUHFT accelerated digital transformation as a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic by improving everyday work with technology that positively impacts lives.

In March 2020 when the first Covid-19 national lockdown hit, millions of organisations including the NHS were compelled to fast-track their digital transformation plans to accommodate staff and service users’ need for remote access. For Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUHFT) this meant accelerating the digital strategy it already had in place to enable remote working using off-site devices for its workforce. However, the global shortage of devices due to the sudden increase in demand for equipment such as laptops, meant that an alternative that would allow staff to work securely and effectively from their own devices was needed.

As Microsoft’s Partner of the Year 2021, Microsoft recognised the work Phoenix was doing with Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) and recommended us to NNUHFT. We worked with the Trust to deploy a live AVD environment with managed service across the organisation, accelerating the agility and mobility of its users and empowering key NHS workers to deliver better patient care.

“For us as a Trust, working with Phoenix to deploy this technology and accelerate digital adoption, meant that our users who were shielding or couldn’t be seen in person due to the limitations of the pandemic could continue to access our services and receive vital patient care during a challenging time.”
Ben GossTechnical Authority – Digital Health at NNUHFT

With more staff working from home and some users unable to attend in-person appointments, the need for a solution was so urgent that proof of concept was skipped and the adoption, deployment, and use of AVD was accelerated. NNUHFT Technical Authority – Digital Health, Ben Goss explains, “Ultimately, the driver was the Covid-19 pandemic – when the first lockdown hit, we went from being an on-site organisation to having to enable our users to work remotely, pretty much overnight. With just under four weeks from initial discussion to deployment, the team at Phoenix have not only helped us to rapidly deploy AVD, but also keep AVD and Azure running and assist our users with any issues through its managed service. As Azure was new to us and the skills needed to manage it are limited within our own teams, the continued support Phoenix provide to our staff is invaluable.”


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AVD enabled NNUHFT’s front-line clinical staff to provide direct clinical care, such as running clinics from home, or to access medical notes from a remote location to ensure as little disruption as possible to its clinics and services during the pandemic. It has also empowered staff whose traditional daily roles have been altered by remote working, to undertake clinical duties and work that is useful to the team – such as research and development projects or clinical audits – from home to avoid them feeling isolated from the workplace.

“AVD allows our administrative staff, consultants, and doctors to continue working and ensure that fewer patients are affected by cancelled clinics when clinicians are unable to be there in person. It is a valuable tool to us for this reason, and also because it means that people who would otherwise feel excluded from being able to work are able to make a meaningful contribution – it is such a leap forward for our organisation to do that at scale.”
Edward Prosser-SnellingChief Clinical Information Officer at NNUHFT

Enabling its staff to work remotely has also resulted in the Trust overcoming some of its physical space constraints by ensuring that more precious space within its hospitals is dedicated to clinical care.

From what began as an emergency project, the benefits of utilising technology to improve its processes and services has resulted in lasting, positive change for NNUHFT’s staff and service users. Because of this, the Trust has also recently deployed Azure Essentials for a small number of workloads and plans to continue to support its staff and service users through a long-term hybrid working environment, with the help of an on-going managed service from Phoenix.

Edward Prosser-Snelling concludes, “We’re on a journey of digital transformation, which includes encouraging more of our people to utilise technology to support them in their daily roles. Long-term, full-time remote and hybrid working opportunities are now possible through our work with Phoenix and Microsoft, and they have helped us to demonstrate the power of technology within our Trust.”

To explore how Phoenix can support your organisation with its digital transformation plans, please contact us.