University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has installed new servers and support infrastructure in order to pave the way for the National Programme for IT.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, a Dell EMC CX700 storage area network (SAN) and a number of Dell PowerEdge 2650 servers were installed at the hospital, which has 6,500 employees.

Peter Hubbard, vice president of Dell public sector, told E-Health Insider that the company had had a relationship with the trust for several years, providing infrastructure: "During that time we have come quite involved with and understood the infrastructure that they have had."

"When the hospital started talking to us in some of the requirements that they had, we were quite well placed having covered their current infrastructure." As well as the hardware and software, the hospital contracted a services team from Dell to ensure the move went smoothly.

The need, according to Hubbard, was to grant greater connectivity so electronic patient records could be accessed and shared across the network, and in a similar fashion to increase network security. Upgrades were also required because the trust’s e-mail service had started to become unreliable; therefore a new e-mail server was installed.

Hubbard said that the most important thing about the upgrade was that the hospital needed something that didn’t cause the systems to fail while the computers and the software were being switched over: "A hospital can’t afford to have downtime."

Stephen Chilton, technical development manager at UHB, said of Dell: "We held them ultimately responsible for the outcome and took a very active role, not just in project management but also in putting their previous implementation experiences to use in a more practical way."

According to Hubbard, the upgrades are all in place, live and are working. "The UHB was a pleasure to work with; they were on top of all the issues that they had," said Hubbard. "They knew what they had to deliver in terms of benefits. We had a very open relationship."