NHS Kensington and Chelsea has signed a contract with Siemens Enterprise Communications for a single voice and secure data network.
The trust will roll-out Siemens’ OpenScape Voice platform and secure Enterasys Data Local Area Network (LAN) networking equipment at the beginning of 2010 as part of a single service agreement.
When the implementation is complete, the communication platform will cover NHS Kensington and Chelsea and its partner locations, including St Charles Community Hospital, GP surgeries and dentists, which provide services to 170,000 residents.
The primary care trust expects to achieve significant operational efficiencies, including free calls across the LAN, reduced rental costs for partners who previously paid for high specification line rental, and integration with the N3 broadband infrastructure.
Ken Pearson, telecommunications manager at NHS Kensington and Chelsea, said: “As a commissioning trust, we are tasked with modernising old sites and providing VoIP capabilities to a range of partners, each of which have very different ICT infrastructures and staff resources for communications maintenance.
“It is essential that we deliver a flexible and secure converged communications network as health care models, workforce collaboration or budgetary priorities change.”
The five year contract covers a service agreement with the SEN Group, with services supported by on-demand technical assistance from SEN staff. The contract includes an optional one year roll-over maintenance programme.
The new platform also aims to provider greater data integrity and service resilience and is scalable to current and future needs of the trusts and will allow for further roll-out should the trust decide to become a shared service.
It also monitors all staff network-related activity, such as PC sessions or use of hand held devices, through the system’s DAKS (Digital Alarm and Communication Server) technology which helps to promote staff safety, particularly for staff working on community outreach programmes or specialised locations.
Andy Clarke, head of public sector, SEN Group, said: “Primary care trusts face the challenge of providing joined-up patient services using often complex multi-partner delivery models with greatly varying communications capabilities site by site, while delivering efficiency savings.
“NHS Kensington and Chelsea is taking a dynamic but pragmatic approach with a scalable and secure voice platform that partners can integrate with.”