Nottingham Primary Care trust has rolled out a modern communications network to cover the city centre, county and surrounding districts.

The PCT issued a tender for a technology refresh in January 2007, indicating that it wanted to develop its infrastructure to meet emerging business needs and take advantage of new technologies.

The ability to network phone systems together, to deliver centrally managed applications to local sites, to provide user-friendly handsets and reduce the time spent administering user profiles were also priorities.

ATC Solutions won the tender and recommended the roll-out of a Mitel IP solution with additional technologies to support presence and messaging.

The Mitel 3300 ICP has allowed the PCT to implement a five digit numbering scheme for all users, to reduce line rental charges and to provide free internal calls, while dealing with support queries more quickly.

Centralised messaging has ensured a consistent approach to patient call handling across the organisation, while Microsoft’s Live Communications Server has made it easier for staff to locate and communicate with each other, further reducing call costs.

Mike Press from Nottingham PCT said it was now “looking forward to pushing forward” with other aspects of its communications plans.

The Informatics Planning guidance issued last week to support the Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2009-10 emphasised the importance of improving infrastructure and installing wireless wide area and local networks to support technology to improve both efficiency and quality.