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Humber NHS Foundation Trust

This case study describes how Humber NHS Foundation Trust adopted HSCN services and the benefits it brought them.

Highlights

By migrating to HSCN, Humber NHS Foundation Trust were able to achieve:

  • increased network capacity and resilience
  • significant cost savings from estate rationalisation
  • time and efficiency savings for clinicians and trust staff

 

About Humber NHS Foundation Trust

Humber provide a broad range of community and inpatient mental health services, community services (including therapies), learning disability services, healthy lifestyle support and addictions services to people living in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire. This is a large geographical area which is home to approximately 600,000 people. They employ 2,500 staff across 70 sites at locations throughout Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.

Humber inherited a complex existing data network that not only supports their own services but also other local trusts. This legacy network was based on a Transition Network (TN) - formally N3 - point to point network, with additional internet provision.

The trust’s acquisition of geographically distant new sites, plus the ever-increasing demand for both corporate network and internet access led to them using the launch of HSCN as an opportunity to review their current network provision.

Migration to a HSCN based solution allowed them to rationalise their legacy infrastructure, creating greater capacity, cost savings and additional resilience for both themselves, and the local trusts they provide support services for.

The network solution 

Humber NHS Foundation Trust’s TN based solution evolved as a result of successive mergers and was rapidly reaching saturation. They decided to first rationalise their current TN infrastructure-based community of interest network (CoIN). The project commenced in July 2017 with consultation taking place with both the Yorkshire and Humber Public Services Network (YHPSN and KCOM, to achieve both significant cost savings and enhanced inter-connectivity within the local health area.

Following an independent self-serve procurement (ISS) in December 2017 and in advance of the award of the YHPSN  collaborative, a decision was reached to award KCOM the contract to provide the network services required to replace the existing CoIN, based on their ability to meet the aggressive migration timescales required, specifically the need to replace the existing TN and virtual private network (VPN) services almost entirely by March 2018.

The benefits of moving to HSCN

Humber NHS Foundation Trust have not only benefited from significant cost savings, in part due to a reduction in the number of circuits following rationalisation of their network estate, but also a variety of improvement to their ways of working and providing patient care.

Some of the benefits associated with migration to HSCN to date include:

Supporting patients

The additional capacity and resilience the new CoIN provides has allowed development of more agile working within the trust - a significant benefit when delivering a community-based service to a geographically dispersed patient base.

Corporate access

Humber have benefited from increased availability and reliability of the network, with clinicians and practice staff both reporting increased satisfaction and utilisation. This increased utilisation was supported by work and training carried out by the trust during the roll out, leading to an increased awareness of the importance of cybersecurity for staff.

Patients

An increase in the number of sites with network connectivity means that frontline staff can harness the applications and services patients require, supported by faster access to clinical information during consultations. This in turn has led to increased patient awareness of some of the systems and services available over HSCN.

By taking advantage of both the rationalisation of their existing TN estate and early adoption of HSCN connectivity, with support from NHS Digital, Humber were able to produce a novel networking solution. It developed their original systems in many ways, providing network services with the resilience and capacity to ensure that the public, corporate staff and clinicians could all benefit from the investment in time and resources provided by the trust.

This has allowed much more open access to health information, controlled and safeguarded by appropriate technology and the security enhanced features of HSCN. In conjunction with other developments this has reduced time wasted for corporate and clinical staff. This leads to less frustration with underperforming connectivity and increases satisfaction and health outcomes for patients.

Testimonies from staff

Comments from Humber NHS Foundation Trust staff on the move to HSCN, and the outcomes they’ve seen include:

“It’s great to be able to provide significant savings to allow us to hit our Clinical Quality Improvement Program targets due to the rationalisation of our network.”

Lee Rickles, Head of Digital Delivery, Humber

“Fantastic! No longer having to support an archaic and overly complex network allows me to have time to significantly improve the quality of our network service.”

Richard Brumpton, IT Services Manager, Humber

“Being able to accurately forecast our future network costs allows us to develop a better budget model for our IT network services budget for the trust over a three-year period, rather than face uncertainty concerning funding in future years”

Peter Beckwith, Finance Director, Humber

“The implementation of the new network across East Yorkshire has enabled to staff to work in an agile fashion, reducing the time spent travelling across the county supporting an ageing network infrastructure. It also allows trust IT support staff to work more closely with our colleagues in other trusts, building relationships to help us to improve the service we provide for interconnectivity across our supported trusts.”

Paul Wright, IT Operations Manager, Humber

Last edited: 1 March 2019 5:19 pm