Informing Healthcare has published its infrastructure strategy for NHS Wales. The first edition covers networking, user access devices, servers and storage, messaging and collaboration, directory and voice services.
In each case, the strategy describes the current position, the strategic aim and the next steps towards achieving this aim.
However, Informing Healthcare says the resources needed to implement the strategy have not yet been identified. Work will be prioritised and business cases created to secure the necessary funding.
The strategy, which is to be updated annually, is the first in a series of documents that will describe the IT strategy being followed by Informing Healthcare and its partner organisations in Wales.
The document says its main aim is to move from the current organisational diversity of infrastructure across Wales to a corporate arrangement that can meet the requirements of current and future healthcare services.
Informing Healthcare plans to migrate its Wide Area Networks (WANs) to a new government wide network, provided by the Public Sector Broadband Aggregation contract.
It also plans to create minimum standards for WAN connections, Local Area Networks and Wireless Local Area Networks, and to upgrade sites to minimum standards.
It proposes to develop minimum specifications for servers and to develop data hosting facilities for NHS Wales’ national solutions.
And it proposes to develop a national minimum hardware specification – not limited to one supplier – with common operating systems and core applications deployed on all machines.
For staff, the strategy plans to:
• develop a national email service for all NHS Wales staff, including primary care contractors – only 50% have access to email at the moment
• investigate options for a national text messaging service
• extend the Welsh Health Telephone Network to primary care to allow staff to take advantage of the toll-free calls between phones connected to the network
• develop national directory services to allow users to easily identify colleagues in all NHS Wales organisations.
The strategy also promises to improve the remote access solutions currently available to NHS staff and to procure a national solution for devices not owned or managed by NHS Wales.