Communications integrator Affiniti has been awarded a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract worth £67.6m over 37 years to manage, design and implement all current and future ICT services for two new hospitals in North Staffordshire

The company will take over responsibility for managing voice and data systems for the University Hospital of North Staffordshire and Haywood Hospital, looking after the needs of over 3000 staff from December.

They will also be responsible for designing and implementing sate-of-the-art communications systems for two new hospitals in the Stoke-on-Trent area.

Mike Brereton, chairman of University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust, said: “This area has been in need of new hospitals and a new way of providing healthcare for many years, but this PFI construction programme is about more than new hospital buildings. It is a major element in the drive to regenerate the economy of North Staffordshire.”

Affiniti have been asked to take charge of North Staffordshire’s Fit for the Future project, which will enable clinicians and other hospital staff to log in and work anywhere, from laptops, IP phones and PDAs.

The project includes construction of an 11,000sq m community hospital to be known as Haywood Hospital which will be completed by 2009; and a 90,000sq m acute hospital, to be known as University Hospital of North Staffordshire for completion in 2014.

Once completed, clinicians will be able to access information from anywhere on campus, whether inside or outside of buildings, helping them to perform tasks more efficiently, including diagnosing and monitoring patients.

Brereton added: “The impact of the Fit for the Future programme and the work of our partners over the next few years will transform the quality of life of our children and our grandchildren. Nothing could be more important.”

New services under the deal will include unified communications with campus-wide wireless, IP telephony and mobile deployment. Video conferencing facilities and a small contact centre will also be deployed.

The new ICT services team will also underpin the facilities management services as well as medical equipment and clinical applications such as Picture Archiving Communications Systems (PACS).

Affiniti will maintain a permanent onsite network management team with service delivery, engineering and operations staff to provide day-to-day support and help in maintaining the high priority service levels.


They will also be responsible for periodically refreshing the technology over the lifetime of the contract to ensure that the North Staffordshire Hospitals become and remain exemplary in the services they offer to staff and patients.

Paul Renucci, managing director of Affiniti, said: “This PFI contract represents the commencement of a long term partnership with University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust and Stoke on Trent Primary Care Trust. We are working closely with all organisations involved to ensure that the solutions we provide meet, and hopefully exceed, their expectations.

“By upgrading, managing and refreshing the ICT services we provide, Affiniti will ensure that these new hospitals in North Staffordshire will have the functionality to support their key medical facilities and address their ambitions for improved patient care and greater efficiency.”

In June last year, Affiniti secured a 12 and a half year, £20m contract with the University Hospital of Birmingham through Balfour Beatty’s PFI healthcare vehicle, Consort Healthcare.